Using Behavioral Insights to Inform Policy and Improve Programs

Nov 29, 2016

Behavioral insights help policymakers design interventions, or “nudges,” that can harness the power of behavioral economics and social science research to develop more effective programs and improve outcomes. Listen to Mathematica’s latest Policy in Perspective podcast, as Senior Researcher Irma Perez-Johnson shares her experiences collaborating with the U.S. Department of Labor to apply behavioral insights and help overcome some of the challenges of offering effective employment programs. Perez-Johnson also describes how behavioral nudges have broad applicability in different contexts. Most important, she encourages listeners to think carefully about how to develop a nudge, test its impact, and report the findings to policymakers and program leaders. 

The practice of using behavioral insights to improve public programs is also the focus of a new blog post and fact sheet from Mathematica’s Center for Improving Research Evidence. Both resources highlight the importance of clearly understanding how a program’s participants behave and make decisions, and how these factors can affect the program’s impacts and effectiveness.

Learn more about Mathematica’s behavioral insights work.