Behavioral Economics: Designing Experiments that have Policy Applications

Daniel L. Goroff
Vice President and Program Director, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

Sponsored by the Policy Studies Organization in cooperation with the American Public University

Videography by Nerine & Robert Clemenzi, Edited by Nerine Clemenzi
Copyright © Philosophical Society of Washington.  All rights reserved.


Everyone likes to talk about "evidence-based policy-making." But what is anyone doing about it? Motivated by empirical advances generally and by the book "Nudge" in particular, behavioral insight teams are now at work in the UK, the US, and other countries - often including partnerships between academic scholars and government officials. The nonpartisan goals are to enhance not just research and transparency, but efficiency and effectiveness as well. Innovative concepts and tools in this context include choice architecture, paternalistic libertarianism, and randomized controlled trials. We will discuss simple, surprising, and promising results so far.

About the Author:

Daniel L. Goroff

Daniel L. Goroff is Vice President and Program Director at the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, a private philanthropy organization that supports breakthroughs in science, technology, and economics. He is especially interested in behavioral economics, government regulation, big data, and higher education. Goroff is Professor Emeritus of Mathematics and Economics at Harvey Mudd College, where he served as Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty. Before that, he was a faculty member at Harvard University for over two-dozen years. Daniel Goroff has twice worked for the President's Science Advisor in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, most recently as Assistant Director for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences.

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