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  • Blog
  • 7th Aug 2013

Growth Vouchers

We’ve been working with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) on the £30 million business support programme which was announced at Budget. The announcement in the budget stipulated that the programme would be run as a randomised controlled trial (RCT), the first time that we know of where…

  • Blog
  • 8th Aug 2013

Partners in Washington to build on BIT work

Over the past week or two there has been lots of coverage of a new team in the White House that will look to apply lessons from behavioural sciene to public policy. The US team will be headed by Maya Shankar, who met members of BIT in Washington to discuss how we will exchange ideas…

  • Blog
  • 25th Sep 2013

Pensions policy shows the power of defaults

The past year has seen one of the biggest changes to pension schemes in recent times. Starting with the largest employers, workers are now being automatically enrolled in a scheme when they join a company. In other words, now people have to make a decision to leave their employer’s scheme,…

  • Blog
  • 1st Oct 2013

European Commisson conference on behavioural science in public policy

Our Deputy Director was one of the keynote speakers at the European Commission’s conference on the application of behavioural insights to public policy earlier this week. The biannual gathering is becoming one of the biggest gatherings of European policymakers interested in applying behavioural insights. To coincide with the event, the…

  • Blog
  • 8th Oct 2013

The Undercover Economist Strikes Back

Tim Harford, author of the Financial Times’ Undercover Economist series, has recently written a new book: The Undercover Economist Strikes Back Tim’s previous books have tended to cover microeconomics, i.e. the behaviour of individuals or firms. But Tim’s new book looks at macroeconomics, which is the study of entire economies…

  • Blog
  • 8th Nov 2013

BIT is recruiting

Dear all,Today we're starting a new recruitment round. We're looking for bright, innovative thinkers to come in at all levels within the team, to help us meet the growing demand for BIT services in the UK and overseas.The ideal candidates will have a strong academic background in behavioural economics, psychology…

  • Blog
  • 22nd Nov 2013

Behavioural Insights Tax Trials Win Civil Service Award

Last night, at the UK Government’s Civil Service Awards, the tax trials that we ran with HMRC won the Innovation award. The trials involved rewriting tax reminder letters to incorporate behavioural economics principles, and testing these against controls. BIT and HMRC were able to show how these simple, cost-free interventions…

  • Blog
  • 9th Dec 2013

Papers of the week

In the Behavioural Insights Team, we are always looking for the latest experimental finding. Academic economists, psychologists and others create a constant stream of interesting work that helps to shape what we do. This post is our inaugural attempt to regularly share some of our favourite findings each week. Please…

  • Blog
  • 10th Dec 2013

BIT in the New York Times

It is not uncommon for BIT to appear in the media, but we'd like to highlight this extended piece in the New York Times last weekend. Interviewing several members of the team, the article looks at where some of the ideas we develop into trials come from, as well as…

  • Blog
  • 17th Dec 2013

Paper of the week: using Post-It notes to increase survey responses

The paper we would like to highlight this week is a great example of how research can be transferred into practice. Garner (2005) tested the impact of attaching a Post-it note with a hand-written request to survey materials. The study found that the note roughly doubled response rates (76%, compared…