Review of Behavioral Economics > Vol 11 > Issue 2

Shaun Hargreaves Heap’s Behavioural Political Economy: Implications for Politics and Public Policy

Peter John, School of Politics and Economics, King’s College London, UK,
Suggested Citation
Peter John (2024), "Shaun Hargreaves Heap’s Behavioural Political Economy: Implications for Politics and Public Policy", Review of Behavioral Economics: Vol. 11: No. 2, pp 165-181.

Publication Date: 08 May 2024
© 2024 P. John
Behavioral economics,  Experimental economics,  Biases,  Game theory,  Public policy
JEL Codes: B41, P46, D63, D69, D90
Rationalitybehavioural public policynudgeexperiments


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In this article:
Groups: An Exemplar of HH’s Approach 
Competition: An Interesting Paradox 
Ingroups and Outgroups 
How Institutions are Built 
Participatory Institutions 
Behavioural Public Policy 


Shaun Hargreaves Heap is a critic of the assumption of instrumental rationality, which is still commonly applied in mainstream economics. His view of human reasoning incorporates emotions, the personal assessment of life projects, intuitions, and preference reversal, often occurring alongside instrumental calculation. As a result, his work has breadth, a critical outlook, and is highly interdisciplinary, appealing to many different kinds of scholars, whether behavioural economists, public policy analysts, political theorists, or political scientists. Using laboratory experiments, he and his collaborators often produce surprising and counterintuitive findings, challenging conventional wisdoms, such as the benefits and costs of group membership. Above all, his work concerns institutions of various kinds, whose design needs to take into account the multidimensional character of human beings. With effective principles to guide them, policy-makers may introduce more effective interventions and thereby promote human flourishing.



Review of Behavioral Economics, Volume 11, Issue 2 Special Issue: The Contribution of Behavioral Insights to Political Economy: Articles Overiew
See the other articles that are part of this special issue.