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Getting People to Behave: Research Lessons for Policy Makers

Getting People to Behave: Research Lessons for Policy Makers Many government policies attempt to change the behavior of individuals and businesses. This article argues that policy makers and administrators should (1) think comprehensively about the barriers that may keep target populations from complying with government policies, (2) match policy instruments to the most important barriers that inhibit compliance, and (3) take into account heterogeneity within the target population. Relatively nonintrusive strategies such as social marketing, providing resources to targets to help them comply, and manipulating options and defaults (choice architecture) are politically attractive but unlikely to secure compliance when incentives for noncompliance are high. Based on the three basic principles outlined in the article, the author recommends strategies to increase compliance, including the use of leverage points and secondary targets, adjusting for unanticipated behavioral responses, and employing long‐term, multiphase strategic management of behavior change initiatives. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Public Administration Review Wiley

Getting People to Behave: Research Lessons for Policy Makers

Public Administration Review , Volume 75 (6) – Nov 1, 2015

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
© 2015 by The American Society for Public Administration
ISSN
0033-3352
eISSN
1540-6210
DOI
10.1111/puar.12412
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Many government policies attempt to change the behavior of individuals and businesses. This article argues that policy makers and administrators should (1) think comprehensively about the barriers that may keep target populations from complying with government policies, (2) match policy instruments to the most important barriers that inhibit compliance, and (3) take into account heterogeneity within the target population. Relatively nonintrusive strategies such as social marketing, providing resources to targets to help them comply, and manipulating options and defaults (choice architecture) are politically attractive but unlikely to secure compliance when incentives for noncompliance are high. Based on the three basic principles outlined in the article, the author recommends strategies to increase compliance, including the use of leverage points and secondary targets, adjusting for unanticipated behavioral responses, and employing long‐term, multiphase strategic management of behavior change initiatives.

Journal

Public Administration ReviewWiley

Published: Nov 1, 2015

References