Webinar on: Better Policies: Using behavioural insights to improve policy making 

Host: Professor Pablo Banas Garza

To view this webinar please click on the video link below.

There is no absolute certainty about what works and doesn’t in policy making. While certain public policies work in certain countries, the very same policy does not generate the expected outcomes in other locations. Besides, there are many policy interventions based on wishful thinking rather than real evidence. For these reasons, in the last 20 years, many countries have begun to test their interventions in pilot groups before scaling up to the entire country. These pilots use control and treatment groups to test whether a new policy may have the expected outcome. This technique is called randomised control trials (RCT).

This webinar will start by reviewing the basic elements of an RCT: outcomes, beneficiaries, random assignment and timing. We will then show how to obtain credible evidence based on these pilots. In particular we will explore how evidence can inform us about the success of a particular intervention.

The webinar will cover:

  • What is an outcome? What is a beneficiary?
  • How can policy interventions be assigned to beneficiaries?
  • How many times do we need to collect information
  • Differences in differences

The webinar will also highlight interventions from different countries to illustrate how RCTs have helped make better policy and avoid massive failures, for example in education and during governments’ handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Our presenter will be Professor Pablo Brañas-Garza. Pablo leads PAI’s regular Better Policies, Better Lives: Using behavioural insights to evaluation and improve policy making professional development workshop, which is planned to take place in London from 23 – 27 August. Participants are also able to join the workshop virtually. Pablo is currently Professor of Behavioural Economics and Director of the Loyola Behavioral Lab, Loyola Andalucia University, Spain.

He was until recently Professor of Behavioural Economics at the Middlesex Business School, Middlesex University (UK) and prior to that was Professor of Economic Theory at the University of Granada (Spain). He has a PhD in Quantitative Economics from the University of Córdoba (Spain). His research focuses on experimental games and economic behaviour, in particular on altruism, co- operative behaviour and cognitive abilities. He has published in leading journals such as Games & Economic Behaviour, PLoS ONE, Proceedings Royal Society B, Journal of Conflict Resolution, Journal of Economic Behaviour and Organization, Journal of Behavioural Decision Making, Economics Letters, Experimental Economics, Journal of Economic Psychology, Journal of Money, Credit and Banking. He is an Academic Editor of PLoS ONE and Associated Editor of the Journal of Experimental and Behavioural Economics.