Psychology, behavioral economics, and public policy
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Economics has typically been the social science of choice to inform public policy and policymakers. In the current paper we contemplate the role behavioral science can play in enlightening policymakers. In particular, we provide some examples of research that has and can be used to inform policy, reflect on the kind of behavioral science that is important for policy, and approaches for convincing policy-makers to listen to behavioral scientists. We suggest that policymakers are unlikely to invest the time translating behavioral research into its policy implications, and researchers interested in influencing public policy must therefore invest substantial effort, and direct that effort differently than in standard research practices. © 2005 Springer Science + Business Media, Inc.
Published Version (Please cite this version)10.1007/s11002-005-5904-2
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James B. Duke Professor of Behavioral Economics
HI, I'M DAN ARIELY. I do research in behavioral economics and try to describe it in plain language. These findings have enriched my life, and my hope is that they will do the same for you. My immersive introduction to irrationality took place many years ago while I was overcoming injuries sustained in an explosion. The range of treatments in the burn department, and particularly the daily “bath” mad