“Behavioural insights”, or insights derived from the behavioural and social sciences, including decision making, psychology, cognitive science, neuroscience, organisational and group behaviour, are being applied by governments with the aim of making public policies work better. As their use has become more widespread, however, questions are being raised about their effectiveness as well as their philosophical underpinnings. This report discusses the use and reach of behavioural insights, drawing on a comprehensive collection of over 100 applications across the world and policy sectors, including consumer protection, education, energy, environment, finance, health and safety, labour market policies, public service delivery, taxes and telecommunications. It suggests ways to ensure that this experimental approach can be successfully and sustainably used as a public policy tool.
- 01 Mar 2017
Why bother? Context and approach
This chapter discusses the state of play regarding the application of behavioural insights to policy in a global context, providing examples from within and outside government. It then presents the methodology adopted for collecting case studies from government, academic and practitioner networks around the world.