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19 November 2013

The potential of behavioural economics for regulation (OECD)

At its November session, the OECD Regulatory Policy Committee (RPC) inaugurated a new workstream devoted to tapping the insights of behavioural economics (BE) for better regulatory design. As the topic was new for some delegates, the floor was given to two top experts in the field, Alberto Alemanno and Peter Lunn, for a general presentation of the current situation regarding BE.
Alberto has published "Nudging Legally - On the Checks and Balances of Behavioural Regulation" on SSRN.
Peter Lunn's paper commissioned by OECD, which includes a full bibliography, will shortly be published. It offers an international review of the initial applications of behavioural economics to regulation using some 60 cases, which shows that behavioural findings are having an impact on the content of and the method for designing regulation.
Further work of the OECD on this topic is likely to focus on international comparisons of economically significant cases and best practices of behaviourally-informed regulation.
The new concepts have been layed out in "Libertarian Paternalism" by R. Thaler and Cass Sunstein.
For an update on other topics discussed at the RPC recent session, experts should frequently visit the well-devised section on regulatory policy "Latest Documents" of the OECD website.

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