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  • 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…

  • Academic publication
  • 1st Mar 2014

The Behavioralist As Tax Collector: Using Natural Field Experiments to Enhance Tax Compliance

Tax collection problems date back to the earliest recorded history of mankind. This paper begins with a simple theoretical construct of paying (rather than declaring) taxes, which we argue has been an overlooked aspect of tax compliance.

  • Blog
  • 27th Jul 2014

House of Lords Science and Technology Select Committee - Behaviour Change

The Behavioural Insights Team welcomes the recent letter from the House of Lords Select Committee, following up its 2011 report on Behaviour Change. We would like to highlight Lord Selbourne’s opening statement on BIT:"The work of the Behavioural Insights Team (BIT) is to be commended. In particular, we are impressed…

  • Academic publication
  • 25th Oct 2014

The Use of Descriptive Norms in Public Administration: A Panacea for Improving Citizen Behaviours?

Recent years have seen a growth in the use of social norm messages by local and national governments. These messages have been primarily used to induce desired behaviours among the non-compliant minority by pointing to the compliance of the majority.

  • Academic publication
  • 23rd Apr 2015

The use of field experiments to increase tax compliance

Governments have become increasingly interested in the ‘explosion’ of research into taxpayer behaviour. This article briefly reviews two main theories of tax compliance (‘deterrence’ and ‘non-deterrence’), before discussing the recent rapid rise of natural field experiments (NFEs) in this area.

  • Blog
  • 4th Aug 2015

Reducing errors in medical decision-making

“Sarah, can you hear me?” The patient lies on the trolley, silent and grey. The doctor bends over her with growing concern. Now he feels no pulse, no breathing – and a once innocuous situation has slipped into crisis. Professional instinct takes over: with a pull of a lever, the…

  • Academic publication
  • 1st Sep 2015

Applying Behavioral Economics in a Health Policy Context

The goal of this chapter is to describe how behavioural economics has been applied to health care sector, beginning with the origins of the Behavioural Insights Team in the United Kingdom, and concluding with the broad public health policy context in both the United Kingdom and across much of the…

  • Academic publication
  • 20th Oct 2015

Stating Appointment Costs in SMS Reminders Reduces Missed Hospital Appointments: Findings from Two Randomised Controlled Trials

Missed hospital appointments are a major cause of inefficiency worldwide. Healthcare providers are increasingly using Short Message Service reminders to reduce ‘Did Not Attend’ (DNA) rates.

  • Blog
  • 22nd Oct 2015

Reducing missed appointments

One in ten hospital outpatient appointments is missed – people don’t turn up, and don’t cancel or rearrange in advance. That’s 5.5 million appointments every year in England alone. Missed appointments lead to people not getting the care they need, when they need it. They also lead to costs to…

  • Blog
  • 19th Feb 2016

Reducing antibiotic prescribing: a new BIT study published in The Lancet

The growth of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is one of the major health challenges of our time. The UK’s Review on Antimicrobial Resistance has forecast that AMR will result in 10 million deaths and $100 trillion in unachieved GDP a year by 2050. One of the main causes of resistance is…