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Behavioral Public Economics: Welfare and Policy Analysis with Non-Standard Decision-Makers

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  • B. Douglas Bernheim
  • Antonio Rangel

Abstract

This paper has two goals. First, we discuss several emerging approaches to applied welfare analysis under non-standard ("behavioral") assumptions concerning consumer choice. This provides a foundation for Behavioral Public Economics. Second, we illustrate applications of these approaches by surveying behavioral studies of policy problems involving saving, addiction, and public goods. We argue that the literature on behavioral public economics, though in its infancy, has already fundamentally changed our understanding of public policy in each of these domains.

Suggested Citation

  • B. Douglas Bernheim & Antonio Rangel, 2005. "Behavioral Public Economics: Welfare and Policy Analysis with Non-Standard Decision-Makers," NBER Working Papers 11518, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11518
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    JEL classification:

    • D0 - Microeconomics - - General
    • D1 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior
    • D6 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics
    • D9 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics
    • H0 - Public Economics - - General
    • H1 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • H4 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods

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