Inclusive Economies: Exploring the Social Assistance Landscape

Wed Nov 08 2023 at 05:00 pm to 06:00 pm

Rotman School of Management | Toronto

Rotman Events
Publisher/HostRotman Events
Inclusive Economies: Exploring the Social Assistance Landscape
Our expert panel will discuss how behavioural economics can shape social assistance programs and the state of these programs in Canada.
About this Event

Following the panel discussion with associated book launch, we invite you to join us for a meet-and-greet with the panelists, book signing and light refreshments.

Co-presented by:

Event Synopsis:

Join us for an insightful discussion on how behavioural economics can shape the design and implementation of social assistance programs. Our panel includes two senators who have advanced Basic Income legislation in Canada and the co-editors of the new book, Cash Transfers for Inclusive Societies: A Behavioural Lens (University of Toronto Press, October 12, 2023).

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Book Synopsis:

While much progress has been made in reducing poverty worldwide – especially in the pre-pandemic era – it is fair to say that an unacceptably large proportion of the world’s people still live in poverty. Cash Transfers for Inclusive Societies sheds light on the widely prevalent cash transfer programs. The book asks these central questions: What is the state of the art in the development of welfare programs? What do we know works in these programs and what does not? How can an understanding of behavioral science better inform the design, delivery, and evaluation of welfare programs?

The latest title in the Behaviorally Informed Organizations series, the book develops a nuanced framework for how governments, practitioners, and society in general should design cash transfer programs to improve inclusivity, reduce poverty, and improve equality. It draws on field experiments and case studies to showcase past successes, while also building frameworks and developing prescriptive advice that we can give to practitioners who are looking to design a behaviorally informed cash transfer program. With contributions from leading academics as well as seasoned practitioners, Cash Transfers for Inclusive Societies presents a new model to policymakers to study and shift the discourse on poverty alleviation from purely economic factors to also behavioral ones.


The Honourable Kim Pate, Senator

The Honourable Pau Yuen Woo, Senator

Saugato Datta, Managing Director, ideas42; co-editor

Jiaying Zhao, Canada Research Chair in Behavioural Sustainability; Associate Professor, Department of Psychology and the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability, University of British Columbia; co-editor


Dilip Soman, Canada Research Chair in Behavioural Science and Economics; Director of the Behavioural Economics in Action Research Centre (BEAR), Rotman School of Management; co-editor

About our Speakers:
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The Honourable Kim Pate is an Independent Senator who lives and works on the unceded, unsurrendered territory that is the homeland of the Algonquin Anishinabeg Nation. More than 40 years advocating for the rights of those who are marginalized, victimized, criminalized, and institutionalized have contributed to her work for substantive equality, with a particular focus on fair and equitable access to social, health and economic supports for all.

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The Honourable Pau Yuen Woo was appointed to the Senate of Canada in November 2016, and sits as an independent representing British Columbia. He served as Facilitator of the Independent Senators Group from 2017 to 2021.

Senator Woo has worked on public policy issues related to Canada’s relations with Asian countries formorethan30years. From2005 2014, he was President and CEO of the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, during which he also served on the Standing Committee of the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (PECC) and as Chair of PECC’s State of the Region Report. He is a Senior Fellow at Simon Fraser University’s Graduate School of Business, and a member of the Trilateral Commission. He also serves on the Advisory Boards of the Mosaic Institute and the Canadian Ditchley Foundation.

Senator Woo is a joint chair of the Standing Joint Committee for the Scrutiny of Regulations and a member of the following Senate Standing Committees: Foreign Affairs and International Trade; and Rules, Procedures and the Rights of Parliament.

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Saugato Datta is Senior Advisor, Global Development at ideas42, where he works on the application of behavioral science to poverty alleviation programs in low- and middle-income countries in collaboration with government agencies and multilateral organizations. He is also Co-Founder and Principal at Venn Advisors, a boutique behavioral science collective working to embed behavioral science in social impact organizations. He has worked extensively at the intersection of behavioral economics/science and global development, having founded and led ideas42’s Global Development practice for over a decade. He also teaches applied behavioral economics at Tufts University and has taught at Ashoka University in India. In the past, Saugato was an Economics Correspondent at The Economist, and a researcher at the World Bank. Saugato has a PhD in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and undergraduate and Master’s degrees from Cambridge University and the University of Delhi.

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Jiaying Zhao is the Canada Research Chair in Behavioural Sustainability, and Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology and the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability at the University of British Columbia. Dr. Zhao is also a faculty affiliate with the Center for Effective Global Action at University of California, Berkeley, and an invited researcher at J-PAL at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr. Zhao uses psychological principles to design behavioural solutions to address financial and environmental sustainability challenges. She has served as an advisor and consultant for a dozen government organizations, including Financial Consumer Agency of Canada, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Policy Horizons Canada, and the U.S. Social and Behavioral Sciences Team.

About our Moderator:
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Dilip Soman is a Canada Research Chair in Behavioural Science and Economics, and serves as a Director of the Behavioural Economics in Action Research Centre at Rotman (BEAR). His research is in the area of behavioural science and its applications to consumer wellbeing, marketing and policy. He is the author of The Last Mile (University of Toronto Press) and teaches a massive open online course (MOOC) BE101X: Behavioural Economics in Action on EdX.

Event Logistics:

This event is available to attend in-person.

Rotman Events is committed to accessibility for all people. If you have any access needs or if there are any ways we can support your full participation in this session, please email [[email protected]] no later than 2 weeks in advance of the event and we will be glad to work with you to make the appropriate arrangements.

General Admission: In-Person Ticket Details
  • The event will be hosted in Desautels Hall at the Rotman School of Management (105 St. George St., Toronto, ON M5S 3E6). Your registration fee includes a copy of the book, meet-and-greet with book signing by the authors and light refreshments.

Cancellation & Refund Policy
  • Refunds will only be issued for cancellations received in writing NO LATER than 24 hours prior to the event. Please email [email protected] for processing.
  • In-person registrants who do not pick up their book at the event will have 5 business days to request postal delivery by emailing us at [email protected]. All unclaimed books will be returned to the publisher after that time.

Questions: [email protected], Mandi Gosling


Event Venue & Nearby Stays

Rotman School of Management, 105 St. George Street, Toronto, Canada


CAD 0.00 to CAD 44.99

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