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Behavioural Insights for Public Integrity

Harnessing the Human Factor to Counter Corruption

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At the core of integrity is a human choice. Behavioural research reveals two determinants of integrity: the internal dynamics of how individuals make moral decisions and how these decisions are shaped and influenced by other people. This report describes how behavioural insights can help make integrity and anti-corruption policies more effective and efficient. It includes concrete policy applications and provides guidance for policy makers on how to use behavioural insights in designing integrity and anti-corruption policies.

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Introduction

Public integrity systems aim to generate decisions by public officials that align with the public interest. As a consequence, many integrity policies seek to directly or indirectly guide and govern human choices or behaviour. In spite of this, the behavioural perspective is still neglected in integrity policy making. Researcher in various scientific fields (including psychology, neuroscience, sociology and economics) on human cognition and behaviour has produced findings that offer valuable lessons and new perspectives. As a result, policy makers worldwide are increasingly applying behavioural insights to other areas of public policy (Economist, 2017); (European Commission, 2016); (OECD, 2017); (World Bank, 2015).

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