Behavioural insight and regulatory practice: Available as open access paper

The use of insights from the behavioural sciences in the development and implementation of regulation has quickly received interest from governments and scholarship around the globe. There are good reasons for this. Reading the experiences reported by policymakers and regulators, it becomes clear that using insights from the behavioural sciences ‘allows policy-makers to better understand … Continue reading Behavioural insight and regulatory practice: Available as open access paper

Brief book review – Inside the Nudge Unit: How small changes can make a big difference

David Halpern (with a foreword by Richard Thaler), 2019, Penguin, London, 413 pages In Inside the Nudge Unit, Dr David Halpern (Chief Executive of the Behavioural Insights Team) gives a detailed insight into the development and performance of the UK Behavioural Insights Team (BIT). The BIT, also known as the Nudge Unit, was established under … Continue reading Brief book review – Inside the Nudge Unit: How small changes can make a big difference

Brief book review – The Behavioural Insights Team, Annual Report 2017-2018

The Behavioural Insights Team, London, 66 pages. The Annual Reports of the Behavioural Insights Team (BIT) is always an interesting regulatory read at the start of the calendar year. Their 2017-2018 report, for example, gives insight into recent regulatory interventions in 31 countries. These range from tackling tuberculosis in Moldavia to strengthening the Met Police … Continue reading Brief book review – The Behavioural Insights Team, Annual Report 2017-2018

Behavioural insights for effective regulation(4): Ethical and epistemic challenges

To conclude this review of the literature on the use of behavioural insights in regulation, I will zoom in on ethical and epistemic challenges. In other words, is it proper for governments to use people's heuristics and biases (or ‘cognitive failures’ as some call it) in guiding their behaviour? How can governments be sure that … Continue reading Behavioural insights for effective regulation(4): Ethical and epistemic challenges

Behavioural insights for effective regulation(3): Evidence and experiments

Now that we have a better understanding of human behaviour and have looked at some examples of regulatory interventions using insights from the behavioural sciences, it is time to ask the hard question: does it work? Answering the ‘does it work’ question is all but easy because of the variety of responses to that question … Continue reading Behavioural insights for effective regulation(3): Evidence and experiments

Behavioural insights for effective regulation(2): Examples from around the world

In the previous blog post, I have discussed (in broad brushstrokes) how our understanding of the rationality and irrationality of human behaviour has changed over time. In this one, I will introduce a variety of regulatory interventions from around the world that build on this changing understanding of predictable (ir)rational behaviour. Towards behavioural insights informed … Continue reading Behavioural insights for effective regulation(2): Examples from around the world

Behavioural insights for effective regulation: 10 of my favourite (popular science) books

At the Regulatory Clinics, people ask me what books to read to gain a better understanding of the biases and heuristics uncovered in the behavioural sciences, and the innovative regulatory responses that build on behavioural insights. Serving the rapid growth of interest in behavioural sciences from policymakers and practitioners, scholars from various fields (including behavioural … Continue reading Behavioural insights for effective regulation: 10 of my favourite (popular science) books

Behavioural insights for effective regulation(1): The evolution of (ir)rational behaviour

The focus of the first year of the Chair in Regulatory Practice is on the use of insights from the behavioural sciences in regulation. Such regulation is often referred to as ‘Nudging’, following a famous book from 2008 by Professors Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein. In their book, Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and … Continue reading Behavioural insights for effective regulation(1): The evolution of (ir)rational behaviour