What’s next for Behavioural Economics?

In a thought-provoking op-ed in the FT recently, Tim Harford (of ‘Undercover Economist’ fame) asks whether the nexus between behavioural economics and public policy is indeed a feasible one and whether this new ‘sexy’ stream of economics is living up to the hype. He asks,

“Is behavioural economics doomed to reflect the limitations of its intellectual parents, psychology and economics? Or can it build on their strengths and offer a powerful set of tools for policy makers and academics alike?”

Read Harford’s full piece here – http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/9d7d31a4-aea8-11e3-aaa6-00144feab7de.html#axzz2yByZla6k

I would love to run a randomized control trial (RCT) on tax payer compliance to see if some of the tools used by, for instance, the award-winning Behavioural Insights Team of the UK government would work in Sri Lanka. Could rephrasing/rewriting the ‘red notice’ letter by the Inland Revenue Department increase tax compliance?

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2 thoughts on “What’s next for Behavioural Economics?

    • Fantastic stuff Dr. Samarajiva! Just read the full presentation. With mobiles being so ubiquitous, can easily deliver “behavioural change-inducing” texts to consumers. Won’t be too hard to do an RCT either, as can link mobile number to HH and HH electricity bill to monitor progress.

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