Title

Incorporating Behavioral Economics into Public Affairs Education as a Means to Improve Instrumental Rationality and Advance the Public Interest

Document Type

Presentation

Presentation Date

3-6-2015

Conference Name

2015 Conference of the American Society for Public Administration

Conference Location

Chicago, IL

Abstract

Can incorporating the lessons of behavioral economics into public affairs education lead to more desirable societal outcomes? Informed by Dan Ariely’s Predictably Irrational, this paper examines instrumental and normative rationality in the public and nonprofit sectors. By applying developments in psychology research to public service, this work seeks to explore their effectiveness in aligning citizen choice towards agency goals as a means to improve societal outcomes. This paper explores whether such measures could provide a worthwhile addition to the field’s academic and professional development programs.

Keywords

Behavioral economics, public affairs education

Disciplines

Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration

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