The behavioural turn in housing economics: reflections on the theoretical and operational challenges

Watkins, C. and McMaster, R. (2011) The behavioural turn in housing economics: reflections on the theoretical and operational challenges. Housing, Theory and Society, 28(3), pp. 281-287. (doi: 10.1080/14036096.2011.599177)

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This paper starts with an assumption that mainstream economics has limitations and that a behaviourally rich inter-disciplinary research programme can strengthen the field of housing studies by addressing some of these weaknesses. We note, however, that the heterogeneity of behavioural studies and, in particular, the bifurcation between ’old’ and ’new’ behavioural economics presents significant conceptual and operational challenges. We note, for instance, that the diversity within the existing literature might be viewed as evidence of a lack of coherence and could serve to undermine the case for a behavioural turn. To address this, we urge behavioural researchers to take great care in specifying their conceptual models and in demonstrating the rigour and robustness of their applied research methods. We also add our support to the call made in the focus articles for the need energise inter-disciplinary working in behavioural studies and, in particular, stress the need to work on resolving some of the tensions that might arise from attempts to blend the insights and approaches associated with different disciplinary perspectives.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:McMaster, Professor Robert
Authors: Watkins, C., and McMaster, R.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > Adam Smith Business School > Management
Journal Name:Housing, Theory and Society
ISSN (Online):1651-2278
Published Online:09 September 2011

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