FRANCE – Behavioural economics has become mainstream in public policy according to a report from the OECD.

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The report, Behavioural Insights and Public Policy – lessons from around the world, surveyed 60 public bodies in 23 OECD and partner countries and includes more than 110 case studies.

It said: “Behavioural insights can no longer be seen as a fashionable short-term foray by public bodies. They have taken root in many ways across many countries around the world and across a wide range of sectors and policy areas."

However it said that going forward BE techniques should move from focusing on nudging the end user and be used to influence behaviour within the public institutions. For example in working together on agendas such as diversity, open government or good regulatory practice and embedding it in decision-making inside government.

The report identifies six principles for behavioural insights in public policy: to be strategic and systematic; use reliable data; validate results through replication; consider that some interventions may only work for a segment of society; evaluate; and publish results, good or bad.

The UK’s Behavioural Insights Team (BIT), run by David Halpern was the first government unit created to support the implementation of behavioural insights in policy-making.