Handbook of Behavioural Change and Public Policy
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Handbook of Behavioural Change and Public Policy

Edited by Holger Straßheim and Silke Beck

Behavioural change has become a core issue of public policy. Behavioural instruments such as ‘nudging’ apply insights from behavioural economics and behavioural sciences, psychology and neurosciences across a broad range of policy areas. Behavioural insights teams and networks facilitate the global spread of behavioural public policies. Despite an ever-growing amount of literature, research has remained fragmented. This comprehensive Handbook unites interdisciplinary scholarship, with contributions critically assessing the state and direction of behavioural public policies, their normative implications and political consequences.
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Chapter 3: Economic expertise and public policy

Frédéric Lebaron


Economic science has penetrated the main places of power and feeds daily into public and private actions. It is involved in the construction of states and markets. Through the development of economic expertise in the steering bodies of the global economy, it has gained a central and major role in every sector of public policy. We describe the way economics has conquered this dominant position through a combination of internal and external structuration, and we discuss the current emergence of new epistemological and methodological conceptions, still dominated but possibly very central in the coming years and their possible consequence with regard to public policy. This is especially the case with behavioural economics.

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