Psychology, Behavioral Economics, and Public Policy


Economics has typically been the social science of choice to inform public policy and policymakers. In the current paper we contemplate the role behavioral science can play in enlightening policymakers. In particular, we provide some examples of research that has and can be used to inform policy, reflect on the kind of behavioral science that is important for policy, and approaches for convincing policy-makers to listen to behavioral scientists. We suggest that policymakers are unlikely to invest the time translating behavioral research into its policy implications, and researchers interested in influencing public policy must therefore invest substantial effort, and direct that effort differently than in standard research practices.

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Amir, O., Ariely, D., Cooke, A. et al. Psychology, Behavioral Economics, and Public Policy. Market Lett 16, 443–454 (2005).

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  • public policy
  • psychology
  • behavioral economics