The Role of Behavioral Economics in Evidence-Based Policymaking

William J. Congdon and Maya Shankar in Special Issue of The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science on Evidence Based Policy Making: “Behavioral economics has come to play an important role in evidence-based policymaking. In September 2015, President Obama signed an executive order directing federal agencies to incorporate insights from behavioral science into federal policies and programs. The order also charged the White House Social and Behavioral Sciences Team (SBST) with supporting this directive. In this article, we briefly trace the history of behavioral economics in public policy. We then turn to a discussion of what the SBST was, how it was built, and the lessons we draw from its experience and achievements. We conclude with a discussion of prospects for the future, arguing that even as SBST is currently lying fallow, behavioral economics continues to gain currency and show promise as an essential element of evidence-based policy….(More)”.