Many of the biggest challenges we face as societies around the world could be largely solved if people changed their behaviours and habits. It’s no surprise then that behavioural economics or “nudge” approaches are of increasing interest to governments and policy-makers. In these austere times, relatively cheap ways to deal with major issues is hugely attractive.
But at the same time, politicians have been cautious about wholeheartedly backing behaviour change policies – perhaps because they are concerned about how acceptable their citizens (and voters) will find government interference in their decisions.
Our report, Acceptable Behaviour? looks at exactly this issue – asking citizens across 24 countries how acceptable they find different levels of government intervention on four key policy issues:
- eating unhealthy foods;
- saving for retirement; and
- living in an environmentally sustainable way.
The findings throw up some interesting surprises and paradoxes. Large parts of the world are not as opposed to government intervention as might be first imagined. But whilst people are willing for governments to intervene in specific areas, when asked about government intervention at a general level there is still strong resistance.
As far as we are aware, this is the first report that addresses these issues internationally. We are also delighted to have a foreword from Dr David Halpern, the Director of the UK government’s Behavioural Insight Team, and one of the world’s leading thinkers on these issues. At the Ipsos MORI Social Research Institute, we are committed to sharing messages from our research, in the belief that a better understanding of public behaviour will lead to better public policy.
We hope you find this report interesting and if you would like to discuss any of the issues it raises, then please get in touch.
Pension Wise service evaluation: research with 2017/18 customers
This report presents the findings from a survey conducted by Ipsos MORI on behalf of Pension Wise, a Government service offering guidance on people’s defined contribution pension options. The report looks at the experiences and outcomes of customers who used the Pension Wise service in 2017/18.
Understanding Society: Tomorrow's Business
Perhaps even more so than normal, the state of the UK economy is of critical importance to our country’s researchers, policymakers and practitioners. It has never been more important for central Government to engage with businesses to deliver its Industrial Strategy, improving the UK’s productivity and coordinating its departure from the European Union.