Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Cass Sunstein Public Lecture

Professor Cass Sunstein will visit UCD on March 31st. He will speak on "New Directions in Behaviorally Informed Policy". The talk will take place in the UCD Sutherland School of Law from 12pm to 2pm. Registration is free but places are limited by space and we ask participants to register. 

About Professor Sunstein: 

Cass R. Sunstein is currently the Robert Walmsley University Professor at Harvard. From 2009 to 2012, he was Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. He is the founder and director of the Program on Behavioral Economics and Public Policy at Harvard Law School. Mr. Sunstein has testified before congressional committees on many subjects, and he has been involved in constitution-making and law reform activities in a number of nations. Mr. Sunstein is author of many articles and books, including (2001), Risk and Reason (2002), Why Societies Need Dissent (2003), The Second Bill of Rights (2004), Laws of Fear: Beyond the Precautionary Principle (2005), Worst-Case Scenarios (2001), Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness (with Richard H. Thaler, 2008), Simpler: The Future of Government (2013) and most recently Why Nudge? (2014) and Conspiracy Theories and Other Dangerou s Ideas (2014). He is now working on group decisionmaking and various projects on the idea of liberty

If you would like to attend please ensure you register here

Talks on Irish Health System

Two interesting upcoming lectures on the Irish health system courtesy of the UCD Health Systems Group: 

How is the Irish Health System Financed? Stephan Mulvanny, Chief Financial Officer, Health Services Executive. 9th March 2017, 12:00-12:50, C005 Health Sciences Centre.

Current Status of Irish Health System: Opportunities and Challenges. Tony O'Brien, Director General, Health Services Executive. 4th of April, 11:00-11:50, C005 Health Sciences Centre.

These lectures are part of the inaugural elective module on Introduction to Health Systems coordinated by Assoc. Professor Hasheem Mannan, UCD School of Nursing, Midwifery & Health Systems. Both lectures are free to attend and the places are limited. Please register your attendance in advance.

UCD Health Systems Group

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Irish Behavioural Science and Policy Network Meetings

In 2017, we have five meet-ups scheduled, as well as the annual Irish economics and psychology workshop on December 1st:

9th February: Behavioural Economics and the Ethics of Influence (sign-up here)
31st March: Professor Cass Sunstein Public Lectures in UCD and ESRI
18th May: Field, Lab, and Natural Experiments in Public Policy (sign-up here)
7th September: Behavioural Economics and Communications in Policy and Business (sign-up here)
19th October: Behavioural Economics and the Future of Regulation (sign-up here)
1st December: 10th Annual Economics and Psychology Conference (sign-up here)

Thursday, February 02, 2017

Behavioural Science and Policy Links

See below for a collection of useful links on behavioural economics, behavioural science, and public policy. They provide useful background reading for the various sessions we do on this area in Dublin and more generally. 

This page provides links to popular overviews of behavioural economics

The FCA Occasional papers that we have spoken about here a lot are available below. The first one introducing behavioural economics has lots of relevant information.

A very lengthy set of links that I have been maintaining on public policy is available below

The behavioural change wheel by Susan Michie is a terrific resource for a wideranging account of behavioural change.

A report written by IGEES on potential for behavioural economics in Ireland is below
Some further links below, grouped by topics that we have discussed here:


The best book for policy is behavioural foundations of public policy.

Obviously, Sunstein and Thaler's Nudge contains a lot of interesting material and cuts across almost all the examples that people brought up last week. See our "database" for 100 nudge studies that cut across many areas Daniel Kahneman's "Thinking Fast and Slow" is a bestseller available in all book shops and well worth reading as background. 

The MINDSPACE paper is available on the link below and outlines the approach developed by the Institute for Government and the Behavioural Insights Team. Again, this paper cuts across all the examples we spoke about in the sessions.


For people interested in environmental and energy applications, this paper is very useful

The Sunstein/Reisch paper is one of the best and most detailed summaries.
Charitable Donations and Voluntary Behaviour

The BIT document "applying behavioural insights to charitable giving" is very useful


For those interested in public health applications, it is worth looking at this new book

The BIT also have a nice summary of applications to public health - see below

Another nice paper below

Finance and Financial Regulation

Anyone thinking about financial products and financial regulation should read the excellent paper below

Behavioural Economics and Development

The JPAL lab is the best in the world on this area

The 2014 World Bank report gives a comprehensive overview of this material

Behavioural Economics and Pharma Compliance

See the work of Professor Kevin Volpp and colleagues below. Also the papers under the public health tab above will be very useful.

Employee Incentives 

See below for a very useful paper on the psychology and economics of employee incentives.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

March 10th Stirling Workshop on Valuation and Well-Being

Workshop on Valuation and Well-Being 

On March 10th, we will host a workshop on valuation and well-being in Stirling University. Those with an interest in the area are welcome to attend. There is no registration fee but places are limited by space and we would ask people to register in advance at the following link. The preliminary programme is below and will be updated shortly.

Scope of Workshop 

The key aim of the workshop is to advance understanding of the comparison between different methods of revealing preferences and valuations for public and private goods. One key aspect of this is to understand how well-being and stated preferences measures compare and contrast. While there has been some literature on this, there is still a lot needed to be learned about this comparison. Furthermore, we would like to understand what new methods such as the day reconstruction method contribute to understanding about revealed preference.

- Comparing well-being and stated preference measures to value cultural and heritage goods
- Using day reconstruction methods to develop new measures of well-being and revealed preference
- The potential for validated mental health measures to be used in valuing public goods
- Examining psychological features of stated preference elicitation
- Comparing revealed and stated preference measures


9am to 915am: Opening and Introduction: Liam Delaney (University College Dublin).

9.15 to 10am: Nick Hanley (St Andrews): “Emotions, personality and stated choices for environmental public goods”, (with Christopher and Mikolaj Czajkowski.)

10am to 1045am: Mirko Moro (Stirling): "Valuing the Environment using Well-Being Data".


11am to 11.45: David Comerford (Stirling): "Inferring Preferences from Choice Data: The Role of Act Utility". (with Leo Lades).

11.45 to 1230: Susana Mourato (LSE): "Well-Being and Stated Preference Approaches for Valuing Cultural and Heritage Goods".

1230 to 130: Lunch 

1.30 to 2.15: Leo Lades (Stirling): "Assessing subjective well-being when preferences are dynamically inconsistent" (with Liam Delaney).

2.15 to 3pm: Verity Watson (Aberdeen): "Using social psychology to improve stated preference responses: Evidence from the lab".

Conclusion and Keynote: Glenn Harrison (George State University).

Monday, January 23, 2017

Dublin Research Group Monday Meetings

We held the first weekly meeting of the new Dublin behavioural science group on January 9th in the Geary Institute boardroom at 11am. The first meeting addressed the ideas for the new group and hear initial project outlines.  There will be a weekly session throughout 2017 to develop the research program.  It will be a dynamic and evolving session consisting of mini-seminars, technology demonstrations,  project brainstorming sessions,  project updates,  funding updates,  events planning, external visits,  and many more.  It will be the engine room of the new initiative. I would be happy to hear from people who are interested in discussing potential collaborations or want to get feedback on PhD projects etc.,


January 9th:

Liam Delaney: Overview
Pete Lunn: Pricelab and ESRI collaboration
Slawa Rokicki: Mobile Sexual Health Interventions
Leonhard Lades: Day Reconstruction Methods and Public Policy

January 16th:

Liam Delaney: ERC Application on Empirical Foundations of Behavioural Welfare Economics
Michael Daly: Childhood Self-Control and Lifelong Outcomes

January 23rd:

Patrick Wall; Behavioural, Risk Communication, and Public Policy

January 30th:

Philip Newall: Behavioural Economics, Gambling, and Public Policy.

February 6th:

Session with UCD Research Office on Research Impact

February 13th:

Professor Kevin Malone on suicide and public policy in Ireland

February 20th:

Sean Gill on day reconstruction and health policy

February 27th:


March 6th:

No session

March 13th:

Dr. Richard Roche on aging and brain function

March 20th:

Victoria Mousteri on labour markets and mental health

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Stirling Recruiting Professor/Associate Professor in Behavioural Economics

See below for an exciting post in Stirling University. Full details on this link.
Stirling Management School is seeking to hire an outstanding scholar in the areas of behavioural economics and/or behavioural science to lead and develop our teaching and research activities in this area, as well as contribute at a Professorial level to the development of the Division of Economics and School of Management at Stirling. Behavioural economics is a key area for the Division of Economics and the interdisciplinary area of behavioural science more generally is a key research theme for the Stirling School of Management. The candidate will be located within the Division of Economics and will ideally either be a behavioural economist or a behavioural scientist with a high degree of experience and interest in building lasting collaborations with economics researchers. Over the last 5 years, we have built this area as a key theme with over 100 research publications, significant competitive peer reviewed funding from bodies such as ESRC and EU Commission, and the development of a full MSc programme in this area. We hope to continue to grow and develop this area and the successful candidate will be given significant support in pursuing this.