Behavioural Public Policy

Behavioural Public Policy

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How can individuals best be encouraged to take more responsibility for their well-being and their environment or to behave more ethically in their business transactions? Across the world, governments are showing a growing interest in using behavioural economic research to inform the design of nudges which, some suggest, might encourage citizens to adopt beneficial patterns of behaviour. In this fascinating collection, leading academic economists, psychologists and philosophers reflect on how behavioural economic findings can be used to help inform the design of policy initiatives in the areas of health, education, the environment, personal finances and worker remuneration. Each chapter is accompanied by a shorter 'response' that provides critical commentary and an alternative perspective. This accessible book will interest academic researchers, graduate students and policy-makers across a range of disciplinary perspectives.

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  • Paperback | 249 pages
  • 152 x 228 x 20mm | 379.99g
  • CambridgeUnited Kingdom
  • English
  • 18 b/w illus. 6 tables
  • 1107617375
  • 9781107617377
  • 569,856

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Author Information

Adam Oliver is a reader in the Department of Social Policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Dr Oliver's principal research interests focus upon behavioural economics and its applications to public and private decision making, on which he has published extensively. He is founding editor of the journal Health Economics, Policy and Law.

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Review quote

'In this exciting new book some of the world's leading economists greatly expand the new field of the behavioural economics of public policy. From their insights we will have better governance on issues ranging from health care to disclosure practice to the environment.' George A. Akerlof, University of California, Berkeley, and Nobel Laureate in Economics, 2001 'This subject is at the heart of the reform of public services in the twenty-first century. The need to provide better public services with fewer resources, combined with recent advances in behavioural sciences, is creating a quiet revolution in the way public policy is analysed and services are delivered. This book is essential reading for all interested in improving public policy and services.' Lord Gus O'Donnell, Former Cabinet Secretary and Head of the Civil Service 'The field of behavioral economics has evolved rapidly over the past thirty years, and this exciting volume shows how these developments can be applied to important policy questions. This book is a valuable source of insight for practitioners, students, and researchers.' Ernst Fehr, University of Zurich 'The rapid growth of applications to policy is surely the most important development in behavioural economics in recent years. This volume reports some of these advances, but it also includes a welcome discussion of the moral underpinnings of behavioural interventions in policy.' Daniel Kahneman, Princeton University, and Nobel Laureate in Economics, 2002 'This volume eloquently reveals the extraordinary power of behavioral economics as a tool for predicting and influencing human behavior, and simultaneously raises profound questions about the ethical foundations of the brave new world of paternalistic policies that is rapidly emerging.' David Laibson, Harvard University 'The idea of using behavioral economics to design public policy has captured the popular imagination. This book provides scientific meat behind this idea. It brings together a wonderful collection of thoughtful scholarly articles by some of the biggest names in the area.' Sendhil Mullainathan, Harvard University 'An exceptionally important set of contributions to current discussions of behavioral economics and public policy. Written by some of the best researchers in the world, the various chapters break new ground. They should be read carefully by policymakers and academics alike.' Cass R. Sunstein, Harvard University, and Former Administrator, White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs

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