Two economists are walking down the street. One sees a $20 bill lying on the sidewalk and says, “Look at that $20 bill!” The second economist responds, “Nah, that’s not a $20 bill. If it was, someone would have picked it up already.”
Today, nearly 200 randomized control trials later and with their findings permeating virtually all areas of public policy, the creation of the BIT and the wedding of behavioral science and public policy might seem like forgone conclusions.
On Tuesday President Barack Obama issued an executive order formally establishing the White House Social and Behavioral Sciences Team while also directing federal agencies to examine how they can use behavioral science to improve outcomes for citizens across the United States.