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    What is Behavioral Economics?

    Behavioral economics is a field that uses principles of economics and psychology to understand how individuals make decisions.

    Those insights are then used to help people make choices that are consistent with their own long-term interests. Using behavioral economics tools such as financial incentives, commitment devices, social norms, choice architecture, and decision-making biases such as loss aversion and anticipated regret, we find successful ways to help people in challenging health domains such as quitting smoking, exercising more, eating healthy, and taking their medications. Our faculty also lead a series of initiatives that focus on changing clinician behavior to increase value provision within health care service delivery.

    The interventions we have participated in developing and testing with private and public sector partners have been scaled to improve the health of tens of millions of individuals. CHIBE and its affiliated faculty members from Penn and beyond help inform health policy, improve health care delivery, and increase healthy behavior.

    Health Domains

    CHIBE leverages behavioral economics in various health domains, such as:

    Increasing HIV testing access in sub-Saharan Africa

    Boosting smoking cessation rates

    Working with primary care doctors to prevent gun injury and death

    Using gamification to increase physical activity

    Increasing vaccine uptake

    Evaluating the effectiveness of sugary beverage taxes to improve health

    Helping people lose weight through financial incentives 

    Using machine learning-based nudges to improve cancer care

    Examining structural racism and its impact on health

    Increasing medication adherence through incentives and new programs

    Testing innovative approaches to prevent distracted driving

    Assessing the effectiveness of bundled payment programs

    Learn how behavioral economics can improve health outcomes and reduce the disease burden from major public health problems on our Impact page.