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Sure, It's Bad — But Will It Ever Happen to Me? Looking Back on National Preparedness Month

featured / behavior economics / public health / in the news
This past September, a range of organizations—including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Red Cross, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency—participated in 2015's National Preparedness Month. Throughout the month, these and other organizations have been encouraging individuals and community groups to (1) learn what protective measures they should take before, during, and after emergency events, like hurricanes, floods, and wildfires; (2) make a plan to implement those measures and stay informed of emergencies; and (3) seek out ways to support community preparedness. Visit for more information on actions you can take to be prepared. Looking back on the past month, and reflecting on the... more

President Obama is a Fan of Behavioral Economics, And Here's Why

featured / behavior economics / in the news
This past Wednesday, Mr. President issued an executive order encouraging federal agencies to use insights from social and behavioral sciences to improve their programs and outcomes and to better serve the American people. The order also formally establishes the Social and Behavioral Sciences Team, a group of experts that has spent the past year and a half conducting experiments and implementing improvements in a variety of government programs. By making simple changes such as sending out letters to potential participants or changing a program's default option, these researchers have been able to bring about significant and cost-effective changes. Among other things, these changes have resulted in increased retirement security, better educational access, and improved compliance among government contractors. What's... more

How Behavioral Economics Can Help You Keep Your New Year's Resolutions

featured / behavior economics / conferences / featured
Behavioral economics is a branch of economics that takes into account the seemingly irrational aspects of human behavior. Instead of treating people like robots that never make mistakes and always choose the best options, this line of research takes into account the apparent inconsistencies of our decisions. As anyone who has ever tried to change their decision-making patterns knows, it is not always easy to commit to behaviors that we know will improve our lives and lead to better long-term outcomes or goals. In a recent talk titled "Tackling Temptation," Professor Katherine Milkman outlined some of the findings of her behavioral economics research and how those insights can be put to use by both individuals and policymakers.
  1. Temptations? Bundle them... more