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Behavioural Public Policy

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Encyclopedia of Public Policy

Central Definition

Behavioural Public Policy (BPP) can be described as an inductive approach to policymaking that uses empirical evidence from behavioural science to discover and predict how people make choices.

Behavioural science is usually understood to include the three overlapping fields of behavioural economics, cognitive psychology, and social psychology. Still, it can also include concepts and findings from neuroscience, sociology, anthropology, architecture, and even the theory of design, as well as methods from social data analytics.

One of BPP’s key pillars is behavioural economics (BE), an enhancement of neoclassical economics to take account of empirically supported evidence of human behavior, including departures from perfect rationality. BE is interested above all in how people think and decide; as a normative matter, it is interested in how their choices can be improved so that their welfare is enhanced. A primary focus is placed on what is referred to as “heuristics...

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Correspondence to Lucia A. Reisch .

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Reisch, L.A., Sunstein, C.R. (2023). Behavioural Public Policy. In: van Gerven, M., Rothmayr Allison, C., Schubert, K. (eds) Encyclopedia of Public Policy. Springer, Cham.

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  • Print ISBN: 978-3-030-90434-0

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Chapter history

  1. Latest

    Behavioural Public Policy
    23 June 2023


  2. Original

    Behavioral Public Policy
    14 May 2023