I don’t know how I missed this paper by Bryan Caplan and Scott Beaulier. Basically Bryan an his co-author give a behavioral economics defense of the “culture of poverty” argument. They argue that if we take the conclusions of behavioral economics seriously then we have to admit the strong possibility that aid to the poor can make the poor worse off.
I recommend that as many people read this and post or comment on their thoughts. Its antithetical to my core worldview, one the authors correctly dub as neoclassical. I haven’t decided yet whether or in what way to revise my thinking in light of it.
It may not be as big of a deal to others but because I take behavioral claims seriously and my beliefs rested so heavily on the neoclassical framework, it’s a big deal to me.