Chamberlain’s proposition that individualistic perspectives in mainstream health psychology cannot adequately address those forms of health deprivations that reflect poverty and exclusion also challenges individualistic perspectives in Economics. Beyond the individualistic rationality of homo economicus, behavioural economics suggests policy actions such as nudging people in making better decisions, using priming and framing instruments that especially target macro-social constructs and contexts, that are likely to induce desirable individual behaviours. However, we need to consider other inner drivers of personal agency (perceptions, beliefs and hopes), that develop within micro-social relations. Health-related personal decisions, for example, can be affected by experience and exposure to personalised, durable care relations. Community care, and accompaniment, for example, are both cost-effective and restorative of a dignified sense of self. Empirical evidence of the transformative impact of micro- social relations, both on vulnerable individuals and people in charge of policymaking, requires both quantitative and qualitative tools in a multi-disciplinary, multi-instrument setting.
Keywords: Behavioural economics, micro-social relations, tuberculosis, agency, policy process