Directorate for Public Governance

Behavioural Insights and Public Policy

Lessons from Around the World

Published on March 01, 2017


“Behavioural insights”, or insights derived from the behavioural and social sciences, including decision making, psychology, cognitive science, neuroscience, organisational and group behaviour, are being applied by governments with the aim of making public policies work better. As their use has become more widespread, however, questions are being raised about their effectiveness as well as their philosophical underpinnings. This report discusses the use and reach of behavioural insights, drawing on a comprehensive collection of over 100 applications across the world and policy sectors, including consumer protection, education, energy, environment, finance, health and safety, labour market policies, public service delivery, taxes and telecommunications. It suggests ways to ensure that this experimental approach can be successfully and sustainably used as a public policy tool.


Foreword and acknowledgements
Executive summary
Why bother? Context and approach
What's going on? Insights from the behavioural insight case studies
Where to go next? Shaping a policy and research agenda
Behavioural insights case studies: Consumer protection
Behavioural insights case studies: Education
Behavioural insights case studies: Energy
Behavioural insights case studies: Environment
Behavioural insights case studies: Financial products
Behavioural insights case studies: Health and safety
Behavioural insights case studies: Labour market
Behavioural insights case studies: Public service delivery
Behavioural insights case studies: Tax
Behavioural insights case studies: Telecommunications
Additional behavioural insights case studies
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Interested in reading over 100 case studies showing the application of behavioural insights to public policy around the world?

The OECD publication Behavioural Insights and Public Policy: Lessons from Around the World presents the results of a first-of-its-kind survey of behavioural insights units around the world.

How is behavioural insights being applied to public policy?

Collect all 4 posters/postcards (click photo to download)

I.  Smart policies: Brought to you by BI

BI Postcard I


II. Costa Rica: Reducing Water Consumption

BI Postcard II

III. South Africa: Keeping Youth Safe

BI Postcard III


IV. United Kingdom: Fighting Antibiotic Resistance

BI Postcard IV


Below you can find a video explaining the key findings of the report, as well as reactions and messages from partners and practitioners from across the world.


BI OECD logo




BI Australia logo


Hilary Viney
Australian Securities and Investments Commission




Andre Patry
Canada Revenue Agency




BI BEAR logo

Dilip Soman
Behavioural Economics in Action at Rotman University of Toronto




Juan Manuel Wilches Duran
Commission for Communications Regulation


Costa Rica


Francisco Alpizar
EfD Central America, Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE) 




Pelle Hansen
The European Nudge Network (TEN)


European Commission


Joana Sousa Lourenco
European Commission Joint Research Centre, Foresight and Behavioural Insights Unit 



BI France logo


Mariam Chammat and Stephan Giraud
Le secrétariat général pour la modernisation de l’action publique (SGMAP)



BI Ireland ESRI logo


Pete Lunn
The Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI)



BI Italy AEEGSI logo


Alberto Biancardi
The Italian Regulatory Authority for Electricity Gas and Water (AEEGSI)


Nadia Linciano
The Regulatory Authority for Financial Markets (Consob)




Fadi Makki
Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy



BI Singapore MOM logo


Kok Ping Soon
Ministry of Manpower


South Africa


Ammaarah Kamish
Western Cape Government


United Kingdom


David Halpern
The Behavioural Insights Team 


Jonathan Porter


Martin Lodge
London School of Economics and Public Policy, Centre for Analysis of Risk and Regulation


United States 


Iris Bohnet
Harvard Kennedy School Centre for Public Leadership, Behavioural Insights Group (BIG) 


Katy Davis


United Nations 


Malika Bhandarkar and Benjamin Kumpf
United Nations Development Programme


Sara Castro de Hallgren  
United Nations Environment Programme



BI Head - World

Read the summary !!! OECD Conferences on Behavioural Insights, 11-12 May 2017

OECD Conference Centre, Paris, France




Any questions? Please contact Mr. Faisal Naru for more information.