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Behavioural Economics

General Public Activities

Researchers in this group have a long history of collaboration with societal organisations.

A few examples:

  • There are close contacts with the Dutch Central Bank, ECB and the New York FED to develop behavioural agent-based models of the current financial and economic crisis. Since the crisis, central bankers are aware of the fact that behavioural agent-based models and laboratory experiments are crucial in understanding complex financial and macro systems, in order to be able to manage the current crisis and prevent future ones.
  • The importance of behavioural research in studying markets has been recognised by the Dutch Central Bank (DNB) in two joint research projects.
  • When developing auctions for spectrum rights, the Dutch government has regularly consulted with this group in order to take behavioural elements into account in the auction design.
  • Together with Dutch charities like the Dutch Arthritis Association and the Brain Research Foundation, different fund-raising mechanisms have been tested in the field.
  • Recently, SenterNovem has provided funding to study behaviourally the effects of decentralised electricity generation by households.
  • In collaboration with the Dutch Ministries of Economic Affairs and Health Care, researchers of RPA-BE also analysed the way in which consumers decide in complicated environments with severe uncertainty (like when choosing a health insurance). The outcome was used by the Dutch government to develop tools meant to aid consumers in this choice.
  • In collaboration with the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, researchers of RPA-BE communicate their findings to government and policy makers through bimonthly seminars and offer various experimental courses on topics such as the relevancy of running field experiments.

We intend to continue such joint research efforts to spread our findings on how important understanding behaviour is for the development of mechanisms. This knowledge helps the design of auctions, markets, or bonus-arrangements for firm managements, for example.