Commonly Applied Behavioral Interventions

A Technical Supplement to “Behavioral Economics and Social Policy”

| Lashawn Richburg-Hayes, Caitlin Anzelone, Nadine Dechausay, Saugato Datta, Alexandra Fiorillo, Louis Potok, Matthew Darling, John Balz

The Behavioral Interventions to Advance Self-Sufficiency (BIAS) project aims to learn how tools from behavioral economics, which combines insights from psychology and economics to examine human behavior and decision-making, can improve programs that serve poor and vulnerable people in the United States. The BIAS project is sponsored by the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation of the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The full report that introduces the BIAS project — Behavioral Economics and Social Policy — describes the initiative’s early work in three sites. In partnership with state agencies, the BIAS team uses a method called “behavioral diagnosis and design” to delve into problems that program administrators have identified, to diagnose potential bottlenecks that may inhibit program performance, and to identify areas where a relatively easy and low-cost, behaviorally informed change might improve outcomes.

This Technical Supplement to the full report presents a description of behavioral interventions that have been commonly researched in studies outside of the BIAS project. The supplement is intended to give a broader sense of the universe of behavioral interventions that have been evaluated and have demonstrated some efficacy.