Behavioural Insights and Public Policy

Lessons from Around the World

image of Behavioural Insights and Public Policy

“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.


Behavioural insights case studies: Education

This chapter provides a series of case studies detailing how behavioural insights have been applied in OECD member and partner countries as a tool to improve academic and social outcomes. Case studies presented utilise a breadth of experimental methods, ranging from resource-intensive randomised controlled trials to relatively less resourceintensive literature reviews. The open and transparent sharing of what works, and what does not, is vital to ensuring that good quality research and findings are shared widely.


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