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Policy Experiments at the 1st International Conference on Public Policy

4th Jul 2013

Some of the team attended the first International Conference on Public Policy, held in Grenoble, France. In addition to presenting some of the team’s work on tax compliance and charitable giving to an academic audience, they also took the opportunity to view the interesting work of others. Of particular interest was a paper[1] by Jonathon James (University of Bath), Patrick Nolen (University of Essex) and Michele Belot (University of Edinburgh). In their experiment, students were given a small reward (a sticker) for each day they chose a health lunch option, which could be cashed in for a small toy, such as a yoyo, at the end of the week if enough stickers had been collected. In addition to significantly increasing the proportion of students choosing a healthy option, the effect of the short term incentive was shown to persist over time, suggesting that it helped to form longer term habits.