Monday, September 26, 2011

Behavioural Insights Team Update

The Behavioural Insights Team within the UK Cabinet office has been working on the application of a number of literatures surrounding behavioural, including behavioural economics, to policy (brief summary from a previous post here). Their annual update, released recently, is available on this link. The report outlines policies they have been involved with in the areas of organ donation, healthy food consumption, consumer empowerment, tax and environment. There has been an ongoing debate in the UK about the rationale behind the approach including the recently released House of Lords report. Interestingly the Behavioural Insights team report gives a lengthy nod to Ben Goldacre's suggestion that they be sacked and replaced with a policy trials unit devoted to randomised control trials on unresolved policy questions. In essence, as they note, a fully worked out behavioural policy would have trial like this embedded into policy.

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