News and Events

Seminar: Nudging with local government: how to do decentralist behavioural public policy

In this talk, Peter John will review the field of behavioural public policy or nudging, as it has developed from the work of behavioural economics in the 1960 to the famous book by Thaler and Sunstein and the nudge units of today, as set out in his recent book for Edward Elgar, How Far to Nudge. In the second part of this talk, Peter John argues that there is a decentralist take on nudge which can address some of tendencies for nudge to be associated with top-down government and paternalism. Local authorities, with their direct contact with the public, are very suited to testing ideas from behavioural public policy, addressing the issue of external validity in the use of randomised controlled trials.  Governance can be improved with a more direct use of behavioural public policy through the linkage of nudges to democratic processes.  Peter John gives examples of his RCTs carried out with English local authorities, reporting experiments with taxation and service delivery in Lambeth and Essex, and recent work seeking to integrate new citizens into politics at the local level.

Lunch will be served.

If you want to join, please let us know before Monday January 21st at

When: 23 January 2018 12:30

End date: 23 January 2018 14:00