Research & Analysis
Reading Deck

Module 1: Introduction to Behavioral Policymaking

Policy makers and those who support policy makers can build better consumer protection policies that reflect how consumers and financial institutions really behave.

Behavioral researchers already know that people have inconsistent preferences. They have inconsistent behaviors. And factors that are noneconomic, small, and often overlooked can play a large role in behavior.

However, they have also learned that inconsistent preferences across time or context are often consistent, which makes them predictable. Likewise, inconsistent behaviors are often consistent across individuals, which makes them predictable, meaning we can design new tools—like an app that compares bank products available in a certain location—to help consumers achieve their stated goal of shopping around for a savings account.

Behavioral research sheds light on the choices and behavior of consumers and providers. Policy makers can use behavioral research to test new policies and rigorously measure how they impact consumer and provider behavior.

This course comprises four short learning modules that connect behavioral concepts to consumer protection priorities policy makers face and share use cases from policy makers across the globe:

  • Disclosure and transparency
  • Fair treatment and sales practices
  • Recourse and complaints handling
  • Financial capability