Behavioural Insights have overhauled traditional economic thinking, leading to the birth of behavioural economics which combines some of the best ideas in Economics, Psychology and the other social sciences to vastly improve our understanding of the decision-making process - both rational and irrational (Winning three Nobel Prizes in the past).
Most importantly, it provides us with practical, scientific tools to help people make better decisions, and improve the impact of policy actions as seen through the meteoric growth of ‘Nudge Units’ globally.
The most important goal of this program is to give you an in-depth understanding of the work done by some of these scholars and practitioners, and make you an expert at understanding, diagnosing and designing behavioural change interventions that help people make better decisions and achieve policy or social welfare outcomes.
In order to achieve this goal, the course has been designed into a 4 week program with 2 in-depth online classroom sessions a week which will be filled with discussions, case studies - related to both short term and long term behavioural change in diverse settings, in-class experiments, post-class readings and most importantly, practical problems where you will have to apply everything that you are learning.
Behavioural Economics in Public Policy is created for policy/change makers with a wide range of backgrounds, policy areas and responsibilities. Recommended applicants include:
A background in economics, statistics, psychology, sociology or any other specific discipline is not a pre-requisite.
Founder & CEO, BEAST
Karan is Founder & CEO at BEAST, where he has helped organisations use behavioural insights to solve complex challenges. He is also Adjunct Professor at the Indian School of Public Policy. Karan holds an MSc (Distinction) in Behavioural and Economic Science from the University of Warwick. His experience ranges over consumer preference research, pricing analysis, experimental studies, behavioural marketing & communication design, organisational change management, market & industry analysis. Karan is passionate about democratizing behavioural economics and creating behavioural change products. His interests lie in strategic thinking, product design, big data and finance.
Behavioural Economist, BEAST
Divanshu is a Behavioural Economist at BEAST, and has worked on a diverse portfolio of clients helping them use behavioural insights to solve organisational challenges. He holds an M.Sc. Philosophy and Public Policy degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a BA in Economics and Business from University College London. Previously, Divanshu started a Digital Saving startup which used nudge tools and behavioural insights to increase savings in the underserved markets, and has worked with public policy institutions in London and Delhi. He is also an editor of an academically focused magazine. His interest lies in understanding cognitive biases, rational choice theory, how nudge can positively impact the social and economic environment, and the ethics of behavioural sciences.
We’re a team of behavioural economists, advisors, and mentors, with a passion and expertise for applying behavioural insights within the Global South.
Our goal is to create products and services that leverage behavioural economics and psychology to help people make better decisions.
Our clients span across industries such as Finance, Education, and Automobiles: HSBC, PaisaBazaar, Ujjivan Small Finance Bank, Manipal Education, Toyota, Amdocs, Hero to name a few.
Besides consulting, we also have an online behavioural economics school called “BEAST U” with courses, faculty development programs and workshops in behavioural economics and behavioural finance.
Our learners come from diverse academic institutions such as The Indian School of Public Policy, The University of Alberta, UCL, The Shri Ram College of Commerce.
Read more about our diverse offerings on our company's website: https://www.beastglobal.com
In this session, we will be getting a broad level introduction to behavioural economics, the value it adds to the policy-maker’s toolkit and explore its adoption in policy-making units globally.
In this session, we will evaluate the frailties in the ‘rational models’ of traditional economics. Subsequently, we will explore key psychological findings and tenets of behavioural decision-making such as dual system theory, prospect theory, heuristics & biases, loss aversion, endowment effect, framing effect, power of defaults.
In this session we will explore the behavioural economics of intertemporal choice – doing now vs doing later. We will evaluate self-control problems, procrastination and inconsistent preferences. Will see also see how visceral effects and emotional states - hatred, vengeance, reciprocity, trust, fairness, influence our choices in a variety of settings. Lastly, we will critically examine the implications in a variety of public policy settings (health, savings, and more) and see how we can help people make better decisions over the life cycle and improve outcomes.
In this session we will critically investigate the main methods, techniques and efficacy of applied behavioural techniques such as ‘nudging’ and ‘choice architecture’ to improve policy adoption and impact in the field. We will leverage the conceptual ideas covered previously in the program and explore various successful case studies globally.
In this session we will get an in-depth understanding of the behavioural design process. We will learn how to identify ‘behavioural bottlenecks’ using primary research and design solutions using cutting-edge behavioural change frameworks – nudges and beyond. We will also understand the nuances of designing and running behavioural experiments.
In this session we will debate the various ethical considerations behind behavioural change strategies such as ‘nudge’, how we can create frameworks to ensure it is done ‘for good’, and the most common operational models of nudge units. We will additionally explore big data-driven and machine learning based behavioural change techniques being adopted in mature public policy units for personalized interventions.
Students will be divided into groups and will devise behavioural solutions to a public policy problem. The task will require them to diagnose behavioural barriers to the problems using the concepts studied in class, design behaviour - based solutions, create an experimental framework and elucidate possible issues/ drawbacks. Support will be provided from the instructors and the exercise will focus on giving practical experience using the behavioural toolkit.
In this session, each group will present their solutions from the NudgeShop! To be followed by a Q&A and wrap-up!
Students need to post at least one question and answer on Slack each week related to the required readings for the week. The students need to post a question that builds on the reading. For example, if we have covered present bias in the session, you may post a question – ‘How do you think the present bias plays a role in low enrolment rates in government schools?’. Or perhaps, ‘Do you think we can devise a home-based solution to combat present bias in binge watching Netflix? There is no right or wrong question/answer.
The student will be given a full 20% if a question and answer is posted each week. Missing out on a week will lead to the loss of the entire 20% (what behavioural technique are we using here? ;) ) – For both Tracks
A long answer question which requires critical application of the behavioural economics literature to a public policy problem of the student’s choice. The essay needs to be a maximum of 3,000 words (excluding references). – For both Tracks (weight 80% for Track 1, 40% for Track 2)
Required readings will be shared with the students after each session.
All sessions are highly interactive, with a focus on collaborative learning.
Our method of teaching focuses on helping participants discover the insights on their own as they move through the sessions, and learn through our large repository of real-life cases and examples.
All case studies are included in the lecture slides and readings.
Example cases and projects:
MDAE alumni working in diverse roles across leading companies.
Trainee Decision Scientist
Senior Research Analyst
Track 2 is the more applied part of the course and covers cutting-edge practical tools that can be used to design behavioural change interventions. It also provides guided experience on using the tools through in class exercises.