Behavioral Economics / Behavior Change

The application of principles of economics and psychology to examine how individuals make choices in complex contexts--such as personal finances and health--and to improve these decisions and behaviors.

Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Taxes and Beyond

Oct. 15, 2013

By the 2014 election, groups on both sides of the ACA debate will have spent close to $1 billion on advertising, with little change in public opinion. Sarah Gollust thinks she knows why, from her research on the messaging surrounding sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) taxes.

Hospitals' Smoker Non-Hiring Debate

Aug. 6, 2013

The recent debate about the ethics of a health system's decision to refuse to hire new workers who smoke was understandably couched in the framework of ethics. But hiring a worker -- buying labor -- is an economic transaction that occurs in a market, and so it may be useful to discuss the economic framework as well.

On the Way to Health

Issue Brief
Aug. 29, 2012

This Issue Brief describes the development and use of a new web-based IT platform, Way to Health, to deliver and evaluate behavioral interventions to improve health.

Behavioral Economics and Health Annual Symposium

Issue Brief
Sep. 7, 2011

The application of behavioral economics to health and health care has captured the imagination of policymakers across the political spectrum. The idea is that many people are irrational in predictable ways, and that this both contributes to unhealthy behaviors like smoking and holds one of the keys to changing those behaviors. Because health care costs continue to increase, and a substantial portion of costs are incurred because of unhealthy behaviors, employers and insurers have great interest in using financial incentives to change behaviors.