Why Policymakers and Social Scientists Should Adopt Behavioral Economics: An Analysis for the Period 2000-2020

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This paper analyzes the advisability of applying behavioral economics (BE) by social researchers and policymakers. Over the last twenty years, the number of contributions about BE has grown exponentially in the scientific literature, reports published by international organizations, and the so-called Behavioral Insight Units (nudge units). However, to consider BE a core disci-pline, it is necessary to ensure that all such behavioral practice corresponds to a distinctive approach or field of study. This article evaluates whether BE provides a solid methodological and unique approach. It has analy-zed twenty relevant articles with the label “behavioral economics” published in the last five years in recogni-zed journals to evaluate whether they follow a distinct method. According to the results, the level of compliance is high (84%), which amplifies the possibilities of BE as an approach in social sciences, besides reinforcing its importance in supporting the implementation of public policies. Nevertheless, the analysis also provides some observations about subsequent developments and con-sideration of the discipline as a homogeneous approach.
Este artículo presenta un análisis de la conveniencia de aplicar la Economía del Comportamiento (BE) por parte de investigadores sociales y hacedores de políticas públicas. En los últimos veinte años el número de contribuciones sobre BE ha crecido exponencialmente, tanto en la literatura científica como en informes publicados por organismos internacionales y en las denominadas Behavioral Insight Units (nudge units). Sin embargo, para considerar la BE como una disciplina principal, es necesario estar seguro de que toda esa práctica se corresponde con un enfoque o disciplina distintivo. Este artículo evalúa si podemos considerar que la BE proporciona un enfoque metodológico sólido y único. Hemos analizado veinte artículos relevantes clasificados con la etiqueta “be-havioral economics” publicados en los últimos cinco años en revistas destacadas para evaluar si siguen un método único. Según los resultados, el nivel de cumplimiento es alto (84%). Ello amplía las posibilidades de la BE como enfoque para las ciencias sociales, además de reforzar su importancia en el apoyo a la implementación de políticas públicas. Sin embar-go, el análisis también aporta algunas observaciones sobre su desarrollo a corto plazo y la consideración de la disciplina como un enfoque homogéneo.
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