Behavioral Public Economics: Welfare and Policy Analysis with Non-Standard Decision-Makers

77 Pages Posted: 14 Sep 2005

See all articles by B. Douglas Bernheim

B. Douglas Bernheim

Stanford University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Antonio Rangel

California Institute of Technology

Date Written: August 2005

Abstract

This paper has two goals. First, we discuss several emerging approaches to applied welfare analysis under non-standard ("behavioral") assumptions concerning consumer choice. This provides a foundation for Behavioral Public Economics. Second, we illustrate applications of these approaches by surveying behavioral studies of policy problems involving saving, addiction, and public goods. We argue that the literature on behavioral public economics, though in its infancy, has already fundamentally changed our understanding of public policy in each of these domains.

Suggested Citation

Bernheim, B. Douglas and Rangel, Antonio, Behavioral Public Economics: Welfare and Policy Analysis with Non-Standard Decision-Makers (August 2005). NBER Working Paper No. w11518. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=776006

B. Douglas Bernheim (Contact Author)

Stanford University - Department of Economics ( email )

Landau Economics Building
579 Serra Mall
Stanford, CA 94305-6072
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650-725-8732 (Phone)
650-725-5702 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Antonio Rangel

California Institute of Technology ( email )

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