The mind of the informal economic agent: preferences, skills and social norms

  • Mantilla Ribero, Cesar Andres (CoI)
  • Blanco, Mariana (CoI)
  • Aycinena Abascal, Diego (CoI)
  • Sautua, Santiago Ignacio (CoI)
  • Fatas Juberias, Enrique (CoI)

Project: Research Project

Project Details


This project seeks to better understand the minds of informal agents; specifically, the preferences (social, temporary and risk), the social norms and the skills related to informality and economic duality. Understanding these factors within the framework of behavioural economics is crucial for designing public policies related to informality, from a deep understanding of human behaviour - as is already used in the USA and the UK, among others. The general objective of the project is to characterize the behavior of informal economic agents, with emphasis on profiling systematic differences in their preferences, skills and norms, based on measurements based on incentive protocols. To do this, we will rely on a strong methodological component based on experimental techniques for the measurement of preferences, skills and social norms. This, using incentive protocols that lead participants to reveal their preferences, mitigating the biases of social desirability and the problems of not internalizing the costs of their decisions.

The expected results are inputs that allow the design of public policies based on rigorous evidence of the behavior of agents in the specific context of Colombia. For example, how to modify social norms towards pro-social behaviour and inclusion in formal economic activity, or how to present information that is easier to digest so that agents can make better financial decisions. In addition, it is hoped to share the knowledge generated both within the national academic community and with the populations participating in the studies.
Short titleP6- Colombia científica
Effective start/end date10/1/189/30/22

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Main Funding Source

  • National


  • Cali
  • Medellín
  • Pereira
  • Neiva
  • Ibagué
  • Bogotá D.C.


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