Informing Policy by Predicting Behaviour
RISLαβ encompasses scholars from different disciplines with a common interest in behavioural economics and individual decision making, and the application of those interests to better understand behaviour across a variety of contexts. Beyond this joint interest, our members combine a variety of expertises across applied fields such as development, finance, the environment and sustainability, and labour. Members are divided between a Centre, located at Ghent University in Belgium, and a Network with members located at universities throughout Europe. We also have a regional office in Morocco, RISLαβ Africa
Projects comprise applications of principles from behavioural economics and psychology to understanding and guiding behaviour across a variety of contexts. The main focus is on projects of high societal relevance, but the laboratory and its members also undertake fundamental research to inform those applied aspects. The founding principles of RISLαβ entail that–far from standing in contrast to each other–societal relevance and the highest academic rigour can and should be combined to obtain the best possible results.
RISLαβ offers its services to government agencies, nongovernmental organisations, and companies. The philosophy is to find projects that can both enhance our understanding of behaviour in general or in a particular context, and advance the goals and understanding of the organisations with which we collaborate. Tailor-made applications are discussed on a case by case basis. On occasion, we also provide consultancy services for a fee. These services are meant for situations where applied behavioural solutions take pre-eminence over the generation of novel scientific insights.
In March 2020, RISLαβ has opened a new regional office for Africa, hosted by the Center for Behavioral Economics and Decision Making at University Mohammed VI Polytechnic in Morocco:
RISLαβ investigates decision making processes under risk and over time, conducting both scientific research and providing advise and consultancy services to policy makers, nongovernmental organisations, and companies.
The two-fold goal is to obtain a better understanding of decisions being made in complex situations involving risk and time delays, and to leverage insights on such behaviour for the design of improved processes, policies, and products.
These goals are pursued through a variety of methods, including the analysis of existing data, the elicitation of individual preferences and beliefs, questionnaire studies, and randomised controlled trials.
Insights from individual-level analysis are used to inform interventions, which are in turn tested in randomised controlled trials in the field using state-of-the-art methods.
Decision advise and design of processes/interventions:
– The execution of field studies to understand and guide behaviour
– Analysis of existing data to understand decision-making processes
– Consulting on process/policy designs