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Busara Center for Behavioral Economics

Busara operates globally and has offices in the United States, Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia. In addition, we have state-of-the-art labs in Kenya and the United States, and are able to roll out mobile labs for our international operations.


The Busara Center for Behavioral Economics is an advisory and research organization focused on evaluation and implementation of behavioral interventions in understudied countries and populations. Busara's mission is to work with researchers and organizations to advance and apply behavioral science in pursuit of poverty alleviation. This involves the application of research and rigorous methods to enable partners to improve program design, evaluate existing programs, and optimize internal processes. To this end, Busara has worked with a variety of organizations in an advisory capacity to apply behavioral insights, build analytical models, and develop new products. In addition, in its research center capacity, Busara operates a Nairobi-based lab capable of implementing advanced experiments in psychology, behavioral economics and other academic disciplines.


Humans are complicated.  We are irrational, emotional beings who are influenced by our environment and feelings much more than many of us would like to think.  As a result we make decisions that are not always in our best interest.  We take out loans that we cannot afford, smoke though we know it is harmful, buy things we hardly need and save too little.

Classical economics does not explain these all-too-common behaviors, assuming that people make decisions carefully and “rationally” by balancing marginal utility and marginal cost. But the real world is filled with time constraints, competing priorities, relationships, uncertainty, and emotions.

Behavioral economics breaks down the human decision-making process, helping us understand what factors people consider when making decisions and how they arrive at the choices they make. Behavioral economics considers emotions, world views, and habits – among other factors – to understand what impacts us and how that affects our decisions.

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