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Behavioural insights


Behavioural Insights (noun): An inductive approach to policy making that combines insights from psychology, cognitive science, and social science with empirically-tested results to discover how humans actually make choices.


Since 2013, OECD has been at the forefront of supporting public institutions who are applying behavioural insights to improving public policy. Read more below:




The number of institutions around the world applying behavioural insights to public policy

See them all here


Supporting governments using BI

In 2019, the OECD released a toolkit that provides practitioners and policy makers with a step-by-step process for analysing a policy problem, building strategies, and developing behaviourally informed interventions.


See the BASIC Toolkit here.


Changing the behaviour of organisations

Working with regulators from Canada, Ireland, Mexico and Oman, the OECD tested how BI could be used to foster safety culture in the energy sector.


Read the full report here.

Bringing together the BI community

Since 2015, the OECD has brought together policy makers and practitioners to identify the challenges and opportunities for the BI community. See past events here.


Behavioural insights applied around the world

In 2017, OECD released the first-ever global collection of over 100 case studies from around the world and key lessons for public institutions.


Read the publication Behavioural Insights and Public Policy: Lessons from Around the World or collect all posters/postcards (click photos to download)

What's next for OECD work on behavioural insights

The OECD is looking forward to adding to our existing deep body of research with the following projects coming soon:

  • Organisational behaviour: understanding how organisations can be “nudged” with a focus on creating a culture of safety in the hydrocarbon sector
  • Understanding what consumers want: Helping regulators  engage in a constructive dialogue with consumers and the regulated entity to identify trade-offs and long-term impacts of infrastructure and pricing decisions.

We always strive to include the behavioural community in our projects. If you have ideas or comments, get in touch.


See all BI publications



For more information, please contact James Drummond, OECD Regulatory Policy Division.


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More OECD work on behavioural insights:


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