Behavioral Economics

Insight Austria - the research group for behavioral economics focuses on developing and evaluating concepts and measures built on insights of research in behavioral economics. We identify potential efficiency gains and raise that potential by implementing evidence-based measures, grounded in behavioral science. By taking behavioural economic principles into account, intended changes in behaviour can often be achieved more cost-effectively, efficiently, and sustainably compared to situations where only classic steering instruments such as laws or financial incentives are used. A promising policy mix includes behavioural economics.

Developing behavioural economic measures requires a broad perspective on human behavior, including the existence of individual cognitive barriers or distractors and their causes. Such a human-centered approach allows us to design choice environments that generate substantial behavioral change, importantly, without limiting an individual’s freedom of choice. To test for effectiveness, we conduct randomized controlled trials. These three phases (analysis, intervention design, evaluation study) build on each other and form our "Behavioural Insights Approach".

The main focus of Insight Austria lies in:

  • applying concepts of behavioral economics to a broad range of problems
  • designing and implementing comprehensive evaluation studies


Since its founding in 2018, Insight Austria has made a big difference:

  • Over 33 projects carried out, the majority of which (>28) with Insight Austria as project leader
  • Over 30 academic publications in peer-reviewed journals by our group members 
  • Staff growth from 2 to 14 (+ 3 fellows)
  • Our experiments are pre-registered by default and an ethics committee as well as colleagues from national and international universities are consulted for advice
  • Exciting collaborations with international partners from the public and private sector 
  • Four large field experiments (on the topics of MINT, Littering, Recycling, Saving) have been conducted - currently working on the 5th field experiment


Head of Research Group

Bild Katharina Gangl

Katharina Gangl

Head of Research Group, Sprecherin für Verhaltensökonomie
+43 1 59991 147