Poor Choices? The link between poverty and cognition

In this joint briefing by Social Market Foundation and the Centre for Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE), Professor Anandi Mani discussed the link between poverty, cognition and decision-making.

Poverty brings financial anxiety and uncertainty. It is also often associated with the making of bad choices – both financially and in terms of wider behaviour that is not in the best interests of the person making the decision. But could it be that poverty causes people to make worse choices? If so, why? How should policymakers respond to that? And what changes might the UK government make to Universal Credit and other welfare policies given these findings? Professor Mani offers a new perspective on how we view poverty and makes a case for why public policy should adapt to mitigate its material as well as mental burden.

Dr. Anandi Mani
Professor of Behavioural Economics and Public Policy, Blavatnik School of Government, Oxford University
Research Associate at the Centre for Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE), University of Warwick