Friday, April 21, 2017

2017 UCD PhD Conference in Behavioural Science

2017  PhD Conference in Behavioural Science 

 Thursday, the 30th of November 2017
UCD Geary Institute for Public Policy

The UCD Geary Institute for Public Policy is pleased to announce our PhD Student Conference in Behavioural Science for 2017 in collaboration with the Stirling University Management School. This continues two successful annual events held at Stirling. For information about last year's PhD conference click here. The PhD conference will be held at University College Dublin on November 30th and will be followed by the 10th annual Irish economics and psychology conference on December 1st. Attendees to the PhD conference on November 30th are also welcome to attend the December 1 workshop. Our keynote speakers will be Professor Don Ross (UCC) and Professor Jennifer Sheehy Skeffington (LSE). 

The 2017 PhD Conference aims to give PhD students in Behavioural Science the opportunity to meet other researchers, to present their work, and get feedback from peers and researchers in the field. The PhD conference will deal with all areas of behavioural science (or behavioural economics, economic psychology, judgement and decision making, depending on your terminological preference). Topics include, but are not limited to
  • Nudging and Behavioural Policies 
  • Evaluation of Behavioural Policies
  • Mechanisms of Behavioural Interventions
  • Inter-temporal Choice
  • Self-control
  • Risk Preferences
  • Social Preferences
  • Heuristics
  • Personality and Economics
  • Subjective Well-Being
  • Identity in Economics
  • Emotions and Decision Making 
  • Behavioural Medicine
  • Early Influences on Later Life Outcomes
  • Behavioural Science and the Labour Market
  • Research Methods in Behavioural Science 
Speakers will present their research followed by a discussion. There will be no conference fee and a social dinner will be provided for attendees on the evening of November 30th. Please go to this link to submit an abstract for the conference. 
  • September 1: Abstract submission deadline (up to 500 words).
  • September 10: Notification of acceptance.
We look forward to welcoming you to Dublin. If you have questions, feel free to send an email to 

Stirling Workshop on Self-Control and Public Policy September 15th

This workshop will examine the economics and psychology of self-control, in particular exploring the relevance of the emerging literature for development of public policy in health, education, and other areas. The workshop will take place in Stirling University on September 15th. Further details will be made available here shortly.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Journal of Behavioural Economics for Policy

The first issue of the new Journal of Behavioural Economics for Policy is available here, See the papers below. Along with the new Behavioral Public Policy journal mentioned in the previous post, this makes a substantial addition to the development of this field.

Behavioral economics: from advising organizations to nudging individuals(90 kB)
Floris Heukelom, Esther-Mirjam Sent | JBEP 1(1) Article

Requiring choice is a form of paternalism (79 kB)
Cass R. Sunstein | JBEP 1(1) Article

An unhealthy attitude? New insight into the modest effects of the NLEA (294 kB)
Mark Patterson, Saurabh Bhargava, George Loewenstein | JBEP 1(1) Article

Experts in policy land - Insights from behavioral economics on improving experts’ advice for policy-makers (84 kB)
Michelle Baddeley | JBEP 1(1) Article

Eliciting real-life social networks: a guided tour (647 kB)
Pablo Brañas-Garza, Natalia Jiménez, Giovanni Ponti | JBEP 1(1) Article

Policy making with behavioral insight (138 kB)
Shabnam Mousavi, Reza Kheirandish | JBEP 1(1) Article

Tax compliance and information provision - A field experiment with small firms(147 kB)
Philipp Doerrenberg, Jan Schmitz | JBEP 1(1) Article

Policy consequences of pay-for-performance and crowding-out (87 kB)
Bruno Frey | JBEP 1(1) Article

To support trust and trustworthiness: punish, communicate, both, neither?(130 kB)
Rattaphon Wuthisatian, Mark Pingle, Mark Nichols | JBEP 1(1) Article

Happiness and economics: insights for policy from the new ‘science’ of well-being (96 kB)
Carol Graham | JBEP 1(1) Article

Behavioral economics and austrian economics: Lessons for policy and the prospects of nudges (94 kB)
Roberta Muramatsu, Fabio Barbieri | JBEP 1(1) Article

Friday, April 14, 2017

Behavioural Public Policy Journal

The new journal "Behavioural Public Policy" edited by Adam Oliver, Cass Sunstein, and George Akerlof is a very welcome addition to the intellectual environment in this area. Forthcoming article titles for 2017 are below, including many leading figures in the field.

Sarah Conly: ‘Paternalism, Coercion, and the Unimportance of (Some) Liberties’.

Shaun Hargreaves Heap: ‘Behavioural Public Policy – The Constitutional Approach’.

David Hirshleifer and Siew Hong Teoh: ‘How Psychological Bias Shapes Accounting and Financial Regulation’.

Michael Jones-Lee and Terje Aven: ‘Weighing Private Preferences in Public Sector Safety Decisions: Some Reflections on the Practical Application of the Willingness to Pay Approach’.

Dan Kahan, Ellen Peters, Erica Dawson and Paul Slovic: ‘Motivated Numeracy and Enlightened Self-Government’.

George Loewenstein and Nick Chater: ‘Putting Nudges in Perspective’.

Pete Lunn and Aine Ni Choisdealbha: ‘The Case for Laboratory Experiments in Behavioural Public Policy’.

Sunita Sah: ‘Policy Solutions to Conflicts of Interest: The Power of Professional Norms’.

Barry Schwartz and Nathan Cheek: ‘Choice, Freedom, and Well Being: Considerations for Public Policy’.

Cass Sunstein: ‘Nudges that Fail’.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Society for the Advancement of Behavioural Economics

The Society for the Advancement of Behavioural Economics (SABE) has a new website and twitter page. I will be the country representative for Ireland and we will work with SABE to coordinate the events we are hosting here with the wider global network. SABE is also taking submissions for the recently formed Journal of Behavioural Economics for Policy and the first issue is available here.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Nudging and Boosting: Steering or Empowering Good Decisions

It’s a great pleasure to have Professor Till Grüne-Yanoff from the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Stockholm in Stirling on Tuesday April 11. He will give a talk on Tuesday this week (11th April 2017) at 2pm. He will focus on “Boosts” whose objective is to foster people’s competence to make their own choices. The talk will take place in the Stirling University "Court Room" on the fourth floor of the Cottrell Building. All are welcome.

“Nudging and Boosting: Steering or Empowering Good Decisions”.


Insights from psychology and behavioral economics into how people make decisions have attracted policymakers’ attention. These insights can inform the design of nonregulatory and nonmonetary policy interventions—as well as more traditional fiscal and coercive measures. To date, much of the discussion of behaviorally informed approaches has emphasized “nudges,” that is, interventions designed to steer people in a particular direction while preserving their freedom of choice. Yet, behavioral science also provides support for a distinct kind of nonfiscal and noncoercive intervention, namely, “boosts.” Their objective is to foster people’s competence to make their own choices—that is, to exercise their own agency. Building on this distinction, we further elaborate how boosts are conceptually distinct from nudges: The two kinds of interventions differ with respect to (i) their immediate intervention targets, (ii) their roots in different research programs, (iii) the causal pathways through which they affect behavior, (iv) their respective assumptions about human cognitive architecture, (v) the reversibility of their effects, (vi) their programmatic ambitions, and (vii) their normative implications. We discuss each of these dimensions, provide an initial taxonomy of different boosts, and address some possible misconceptions about boosts.

Saturday, April 08, 2017

Jobs and Studentships in Behavioural Science at UCD

1. See this link for some details of our new behavioural science and policy group at UCD

2. See this link for information on part-time and/or employer sponsored options for our new MSc in Behavioural Economics

3. We are currently advertising a 2-year postdoctoral position with a closing date of May 31st 2017

4. There are a number of PhD scholarships available at the UCD School of Economics, including in this research area.

5. Details of the MSc in Behavioural Economics are available here.