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Behavioural insights event series on improving policy through nudging

Christian Traxler has launched a new event series on how "nudging" could support and improve the policymaking process.

Christian Traxler, Professor of Economics at the Hertie School of Governance, has initiated a new event series on behavioural insights. The combined results of behavioural research in neuroscience, psychology, and other fields have provided evidence over the last decade, that policies that make use of positive reinforcement and indirect suggestions can make a bigger change than policies based on direct legislation and enforcement. This makes behavioural insights a key topic for modern governance.

Novel and innovative policy approaches are now discussed and often evaluated in experimental studies which allow for a credible identification of causal policy effects. This trend is also reflected by the fact that several European governments built up their own experimental units (e.g., UK’s “Behavioural Insights Team” or the Danish “MindLab”). In Germany, the last coalition agreement paved the way for establishing a “Nudge Unit”. In the broad public, this initiative was only noticed when an unusual job opening for Psychologists, Anthropologists and Behavioural Economists at the Chancellor‘s Office attracted a lot of attention.

The new event series that will feature severeal international experts from the field will disucss, what can be expected from applying behavioural insights to policy-making in Germany. What are the promises and pitfalls of this development?

We look forward to welcoming you to one of the upcoming events in the Behavioural Insights Series.