Research: Nudging Around the World

16 October 2013Behavioural Insights Unit

Categoryresearch

Tagsacademic, academics, research

Kim Ly and Dilip Soman from the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management recently published Nudging Around the World, a paper on when and how to use nudging in public policy.

nudging around the world

Kim Ly and Dilip Soman from the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management recently published Nudging Around the World, a paper on when and how to use nudging in public policy.

The paper outlines available tools in government for influencing behaviour change – regulation and restrictions, economic incentives, information and education, and nudges and choice architecture. Taking this range of policy tools into account, the paper provides guidance for when each tool is useful and how to choose the appropriate one. However, nudging does not have to be an alternative technique and can complement traditional policy levers. The paper demonstrates how behavioural insights can do this, for example by:

  • increasing compliance to regulation through improved choice architecture and defaults;
  • increasing the take up of financial incentives by removing barriers to accessing incentives and understanding behavioural biases such as loss aversion;
  • Simplifying complex information using techniques of salience and simplification.

You can also find a good summary of behavioural insights initiatives from governments around the world (continue on to the appendix and you will find some specific case studies from the UK, US and Singapore).

For some more BI case studies and a background to some specific behavioural biases or ‘heuristics’ that influence the way people make decisions, see their earlier paper A Practitioner’s Guide to Nudging