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Policy Talks Series- Establishing a culture of sustainability: The contribution of behavioral economics

Visualization of sustainability creation through collective culture.
Wednesday, March 15, 2023, 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm

The Department of Public Policy brings you the Policy Talks Series as a way to engage critically with today's global and local issues. Our speakers range from policy practitioners and researchers to diplomats and agency leaders to NGO and social responsibility leaders. The events feature a panel discussion, followed by a Q&A session, and a reception.
Drinks and snacks will be offered.

Katharina Gangl's talk is a short introduction to behavioral economics, starting with a summary of the most critical behavioral biases that prevent humans from behaving sustainably. Next, we outline how behavioral economics can be used to develop measures to change behavior. We overview field experiments in which measures such as defaults or social norms have been successfully applied to increase various pro-environmental behaviors (e.g., energy saving and sustainable food consumption). We conclude with the observation that by changing different concrete behaviors, we can develop a new culture of sustainability.


About the Speaker

Katharina Gangl is the head of the Behavioral Economics (Insight Austria) research group at the Institute for Advanced Studies, Vienna. She received her Ph.D. and Habilitation in Economic Psychology at the University of Vienna and has held research positions in Germany and Australia. Katharina Gangl’s research includes studying cooperation between citizens and the state, and she is particularly interested in using behavioral insights to tackle acute problems such as the climate crisis. She publishes her work mainly in peer-reviewed journals and collaborates with international organizations and public administrations worldwide.