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Special issue on “the behavioural turn in public policy: new evidence from experiments”

December 06, 2016 by Francesco Bogliacino, Cristiano Codagnone, Giuseppe A. Veltri

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Since the publication of the best seller Nudge (Thaler and Sunstein 2008), the growth in the relevance of ‘Behavioural Economics’ (BE) and ‘Nudging’ has been exponential, both in terms of the adoption of behavioural perspectives in policy making and of ongoing academic research. With some simplification three strands can be singled out. First, the widespread application and institutionalisation of behaviourally inspired policy-making beyond the two initial cases of the US and the UK (Lunn 2014; Sousa Lourenc¸o et al. 2016). Second, a discussion within the field of economics as to the place and contribution of BE toward ‘Evidence Based Economics’ (Chetty 2015; Thaler 2016). Third, the explosion between 2010 and 2016 of a multidisciplinary and multi-domain meta-literature of commentaries and essays for and against ‘Nudging’ that deal with its conceptual, theoretical, and philosophical underpinnings, as well as with its political and ethical implications (Blumenthal-Barby and Burroughs 2012; Gigerenzer 2015; Gold and Lichtenberg 2012; Hausman and Welch 2010; Jones et al. 2013, 2014; Kosters and Van der Heijden 2015; Marteau et al. 2011; Oliver 2015; Rebonato 2012, 2014; Saghai 2013; Selinger and Whyte 2011; Vallga˚rda 2012; Sunstein 2015a, b).