The OECD Environment Directorate has launched a new project to use scientific insights from behavioural economics to improve environmental policy. Our aim is to study how environmental policies targeting individuals, households, and communities can be improved by accounting for people’s altruistic attitudes (desires to “do the right thing”), cooperative and competitive tendencies (reciprocity and “keeping up with the Joneses”), and heuristics (“rules of thumb” and mental shortcuts). In the same way that traditional economics has proven useful for designing incentive-based environmental policies, this project investigates how behavioural economics can inform the design of “norm-based” environmental policies and “behaviourally robust” markets for ecosystem services.
While the project will be fully launched in 2013, much of the underlying preparatory work is currently under way. For more information, please contact Nick Johnstone, Ivan Haščič or Zack Brown at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Related media links:
ScienceDaily (Sep. 11, 2012) “Want to Encourage Eco-Friendly Behavior? Give Consumers a Nudge (Don't Tell Them What to Do)”
US NPR (July 16, 2012) “Can Science Plant Brain Seeds That Make You Vote?”
The Wall Street Journal (Oct. 17, 2010) “The Secret to Turning Consumers Green”
The Observer (May 13, 2012) “Using the tools of science to improve social policy”
Le Monde (March 24, 2013) “Le future est plus proche que le passé”
US NPR (March 25, 2013) “The Ironic Success of Experimental Philosophy”
Environmental Quality and Life Satisfaction - Evidence Based on Micro-Data
Environmental Policy, Consumption and Behaviour