Applications of Behavioral Insights to Government Regulation

Posted: 10 Jun 2013

See all articles by Susan E. Dudley

Susan E. Dudley

George Washington University - Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration

Date Written: May 23, 2013

Abstract

One possible innovation in government that has received much attention recently is the application of behavioral insights to government programs. By incorporating more realistic assumptions regarding human psychology and behavior, behavioral economics holds the potential to improve economic analysis, make better predictions of field phenomena, and develop better public policy. For example, by considering how people process information, government programs can provide information, frame decisions, and set defaults in ways that are more likely to lead citizens to optimizing behavior. This discussion will explore how these insights are actually being applied, particularly in the regulatory arena, and whether the focus on deviations from strict rationality by individuals operating in a market environment has neglected to appreciate that individuals acting in their capacity as government decision-makers may also be subject to bounded rationality and cognitive biases.

Suggested Citation

Dudley, Susan E., Applications of Behavioral Insights to Government Regulation (May 23, 2013). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2276718

Susan E. Dudley (Contact Author)

George Washington University - Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration ( email )

805 21st Street, NW
Suite 601
Washington, DC 20052
United States

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