Regulatory reform

Behavioural insights


Behavioural insights is an inductive approach to inform policy makers of the human behaviours driving economic and societal outcomes. Driven by experimentation and piloting, it combines insights from psychology, cognitive science and social science with empirically-tested results to discover how humans “actually” make choices.

The OECD has been at the forefront of supporting public institutions to apply behavioural insights to improve public policy, including in its design, implementation and evaluation.

Who is using Behavioural Insights?

To support behavioural insights knowledge-sharing and community building, OECD's Observatory of Public Sector Innovation (OPSI) has developed an interactive map showcasing behavioural insights units and projects around the world as well as a pre-registration portal to enable behavioural insights practitioners to share pre-analysis plans at the early stages of experimentation and policy testing.


The OECD Network of Behavioural Insights Experts in Government is comprised of over 100 government officials working on behavioural insights initiatives in over 40 countries to foster the exchange of good practice and mutual learning among policy makers.

Key reports

Behavioural Insights and Organisations

This report presents research on applying Behavioural Insights to changing the behaviour of organisations, with a focus on fostering elements of a safety culture in the energy sector. It presents comparative findings from experiments with energy regulators in Canada, Ireland, Mexico and Oman, as well as guidance for applying Behavioural Insights to safety culture going forward.


Lessons from Around the World

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. 

Supporting Governments using Behavioural Insights

The OECD BASIC toolkit provides practitioners and policy makers with a step-by-step process for analysing a policy problem, building strategies, and developing behaviourally informed interventions.




Further OECD work on behavioural insights:


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