Behavioral sciences are increasingly being relied upon by governments around the world for reshaping public interventions in a wide-range of policy areas such as energy, health, financial services and transport. A better understanding of human decision-making, and in particular of its cognitive mechanisms, is providing insights on how governments can design effective, low-cost and choice preserving regulations through default rules, “smart” disclosure, and simplification requirements.
Although the results of the first nudging experiments are mixed, there seems to be an emerging consensus around the idea that regulation cannot work effectively or efficiently if regulators do not consider how targeted people respond.
eLabEurope is closely involved in the analysis and experimentation of behavioral regulation.
Alberto Alemanno and Alessandro Spina published “Nudging Legally – On the Checks and Balances of Behavioural Regulation”, International Journal of Constitutional Law, 2014 (forthcoming).
Alberto Alemanno presented this paper to the OECD Regulatory Committee in November 2013.
Alberto Alemanno and Anne Lise Sibony organised a two-day workshop on 12 and 13 December 2013 at the University of Liège – in co-operation with the Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales (HEC) Paris –, with a view to achieving three main objectives:
(i) map out the actual and possible uses of behavioural insights in EU policy making across disciplines;
(ii) explore and possibly systematize what roles – if any – behavioural sciences may play in EU law and policy;
(iii) identify, by taking a critical stance, the difficulties and challenges of integrating behavioural insights into the legal system.
While most of the academic attention is currently paid to the philosophical and ethical consequences stemming from an emerging manipulative, nudging State, the focus of our work is more limited and closer to where our research interests and expertise lie, i.e. the legal and policy implications deriving from the emergence of behavioral regulation.