Behavioral Economics in Public Policy in the Age of Covid-19: A Systematic Review

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Lindon Vela Meléndez, Edwin Abel Tarrillo Vásquez, Raquel Yovana Tello Flores, Carola Amparo Smith Maguiña, Nancy Liliana Heredia Carhuapoma, Iliana Cleopatra Serrepe Zapata, Adela Edith Leiva Alfaro, Lucinda Esperanza Castillo Seminario, Doris Amelia Sal

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Following the guidelines of the PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses) statement and accessing databases such as Scopus, Web of Science, PubMed, Google Scholar and Academic Searh, during the years 2020 and 2021, with topics related to behavioral economics and the design of public policies to address the covid-19 pandemic, it has been determined that public policy makers have identified behavioral biases that have impeded rational decision making by individuals regarding vaccination, the use of personal protection mechanisms such as masks and face shields, social distancing, dietary habits and physical activity. The behavioral biases identified have been mainly loss aversion related to negativity framing bias, representativeness heuristics, confirmation bias, present bias, negativity bias, over-optimism, availability heuristics, status quo or inertia bias and cognitive overload. The tools with the greatest application to combat behavioral biases have been framing, used in communication mechanisms, financial or in-kind micro-incentives for compliance, descriptive and prescriptive norms, as well as nudges and libertarian paternalism. Finally, there is evidence that behavioral economics has a substantial contribution to make in the fight against the covid-19 pandemic and the scenario is serving to validate the contributions of the 2017 Nobel Laureate in Economics Richard H. Thaler.

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