From the first to the second session

From the first to the second session

by Christophe Heintz -
Number of replies: 0

Dear all,

In the introductory session, we talked about policy-making as designing the proper incentive schemes. We briefly reflected what "proper" would mean (c.f. the question "what are the goals of public policy?"). We talked about micro- and macro-economics as providing a highly relevant expertise for designing incentive schemes. In particular, we pointed out the need to avoid unintended negative consequences of a policy. 

Having made clear (I hope) the relevance of the economic framework and type of analyses, we then raised the questions: Is the expertise of psychologists also relevant for policy making? Why and to do what? The brief, preliminary answer we gave was "choice architectures matter; they influence how people behave, the choices that they make", and this influence is not predicted or accounted for by the standard model of economics.

To give more meat and spice to this conclusion, I asked you to think and bring examples of choice architectures. That will be something we'll do during the whole course, but we can start right now.

In Friday's session, we will talk more about the theory of rational decision making: it is the background knowledge needed for analysing and  understanding human cognitive biases. And then we will look at the notion of Nudge and the goals associated with it.