Behavioral Economics and Healthcare Reform

John Edgell, guest columnist at CQ Politics, reviews the importance of behavioral economics in the Obama White House, especially as it applies to healthcare reform:

What perhaps matters more [than the daunting problems in the healthcare system or the Democrat alignment in Washington] is an understanding of how behavioral sciences will drive the dynamics of healthcare overhaul, and there’s no better place to start than the blog of Peter R. Orszag, now White House OMB director.

It was in the blog that Orszag, then director of the Congressional Budget Office, seized the importance that behavioral economics has on the healthcare delivery system: “A growing body of research on behavioral economics suggests that, in addition to financial incentives, norms and default options can exert a strong influence on individuals’ choices. Such findings could inform efforts to improve efficiency in the health sector.

For the full column, click here.

(Note: this entry originally appeared at

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