Regulatory policy

Behavioural economics


The OECD has been working at the forefront to understand how behavioural insights can help governments and regulators design policies in such a way that citizens make better decisions and actions for themselves.

Behavioural Insights and New Approaches to Policy Design seminar was held on 23 January 2015 at the OECD, bringing together more than 150 distinguished participants at the forefront of behavioural economics including central and local government officials, regulators, staff of International organisations and academics to discuss the challenges and opportunities of applying behavioural insights to policy making. 


Behavioural Economics

What is behavioural economics?


Behavioural economics is the study of economic decision making and activity. Why do people make certain actions and how do they act in certain situations? This can range from the selection of product brands, to big decisions such as understanding why some people have health insurance, pensions and make health decisions. 

Applying Behavioural Insights

The OECD is currently collecting a cross-sectoral and cross-jurisdictional dataset of case studies on the adoption and utilisation of behavioural insights-orientated thinking across regulatory and other government bodies internationally. This survey is being conducted jointly by the OECD and London School of Economics, and with the collaboration of ideas42 and TEN. 


Call for Case Study Submissions


Practitioners who have applied behavioural insights within their public bodies are invited to participate in this exercise. The case studies collected will be documented in a written publication and through online platforms for practitioners to be recognised for their work and share their experiences.

Please note that the deadline for submitting the completed survey questionnaire is 29 February 2016, and should be sent to and




In the past five years, behavioural economics has been rapidly propelled from the margins of economic policy analysis towards the policy mainstream. Its increased application is helping countries across the world to regulate better based on actual, and not assumed, behaviour.


The use of behavioural economics by governments and regulators is a growing trend globally, most notably in the United Kingdom and United States but more recently in Australia, Canada, Columbia, Denmark, Germany, Israel, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, South Africa, Turkey and the European Union.


Examples of behavioural economics in action: 






Mr. Faisal Naru,
Senior Economic Adviser,
Regulatory Policy Division,
Directorate for Public Governance and Territorial Development