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The Program on Behavioral Economics and Public Policy studies a range of issues at the intersection of behavioral economics, law, and public policy. The issues include energy, health, obesity, highway safety, economic growth, finance, the environment (including climate change), savings, uses of social media, human rights, education, discrimination, and poverty. A particular emphasis is on behaviorally informed tools, such as default rules, norms, simplification, education, and warnings . There is continuing attention to the newest and best work in behavioral economics and its implications for public policy.


Faculty

The following Harvard faculty are participating members in the Program on Behavioral Economics and Public Policy.

Cass Sunstein

Iris Bohnet

David Laibson

Adrian Vermeule

Max Bazerman

Sendhil Mullainathan

Oren Bar-Gil


Featured Research

Is Deontology a Heuristic? On Psychology, Neuroscience, Ethics, and Law
Cass R. Sunstein
Harvard Law School
August 1, 2013

Behavioral Economics, Consumption, and Environmental Protection
Cass Sunstein
Harvard Law School
July 21, 2013

The Value of a Statistical Life: Some Clarifications and Puzzles
Cass Sunstein
Harvard Law School
June 13, 2013

Automatically Green: Behavioral Economics and Environmental Protection
Cass R. Sunstein
Harvard Law School

Lucia Reisch
Copenhagen Business School
April 5, 2013

Choice Architecture
Richard H. Thaler
University of Chicago – Booth School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Cass R. Sunstein
Harvard Law School

John P. Balz
University of Chicago – Political Science Department
April 2, 2010

Impersonal Default Rules vs. Active Choices vs. Personalized Default Rules: A Triptych
Cass R. Sunstein
Harvard Law School
November 5, 2012 

The Storrs Lectures: Behavioral Economics and Paternalism
Cass R. Sunstein
Harvard Law School
November 29, 2012

Empirically Informed Regulation
Cass R. Sunstein
Harvard Law School
2011

Local and Global Knowledge in the Administrative State
Adrian Vermeule
Harvard Law School
2012

Rationally Arbitrary Decisions (in Administrative Law)
Adrian Vermeule
Harvard Law School
2013


Past News and Events

Social Media and Behavioral Economics
February 6, 2013

On February 6, 2013 scholars from across Harvard University joined social media experts from Facebook, Twitter, Socialflow and Microsoft Research for the Social Media and Behavioral Economics Conference.  The event focused on social media, theory and practice, and their potential effects on voting behavior, electricity consumption, pro-social behavior and privacy. For more information and videos from the conference, see the view the event coverage.