New article, entitled Public Policy and Behavior Change, in Public Administration Review.


Changing behavior is often necessary to tackle various societal problems, such as obesity, alcohol abuse, and debt problems. This article has two goals. First, it aims to highlight how governments can try to change behavior of citizens. Government can use various policy instruments, including incentives, bans/mandates, information campaigns, and nudges. However, the government should not be a manipulator that applies policy instruments without societal support. Therefore, the second goal is to provide a conceptual framework that helps in analyzing whether public policies to stimulate behavior change are effective and are supported by key stakeholders. This conceptual framework has five criteria indicating to what extent there is effective and supported behavior change: the policy is effective (1) and efficient (2), and there is support for the policy among politicians (3), implementing organizations (4), and citizens (5). The article ends with suggestions to study public policy aimed at behavior change.

Read the full article via Open Access at Public Administration Review.

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