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Rethinking red tape

Influencing behaviours to achieve public outcomes


Rethinking red tapeSome of the traditional policy levers governments use to influence our behaviour – taxation, subsidies, laws and regulations – are often found to have their limitations:

  • People often act irrationally
  • Laws and regulations can be costly to enforce, and impose substantial compliance cost and other burdens on businesses and individuals
  • Taxes and subsidies can be hard to justify when they limit personal choices that we do not see as harmful to others.

Where individual choice underpins achievement of government’s goal the challenge for the public sector is to find effective and politically acceptable strategies to drive changes in that individual choice.

This report features four case studies from around the globe where government organisations have influenced behaviours by implementing strategies that focus on alternate and complimentary lenses for government action:

  • Education
  • Incentives
  • Structured choice
  • Feedback loops.

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