Behavioural Public Policy - Fremtidens styring af beskæftigelsesområdet?

Mette Kjærgaard Knudsen, Bjarke Lund-Sørensen & Tilla Slåen Jensen

Studenteropgave: Kandidatprojekt


Exclusive summary
Title: Behavioural Public Policy – Future employment management?
This project seeks to answer following problem formulation:
“What are the possibilities and challenges facing Behavioural Public Policy (BPP) as a management tool in the policy area of employment in regards to the previous management paradigm?“
Throughout the existing literature on the topic, no coherent operationalization of BPP as a management tool can be found. This project sets up such an operationalization based on five parameters; problem diagnostic, mean to end, ‘the right kind of choice', roots in organizational implementation and generalizability.
The project contributes to knowledge on how BPP can be treated as a coherent concept within the field of public management. Furthermore, the project describes how BPP can be integrated alongside existing public management such as Public Administration (PA), New Public Management (NPM) and New Public Governance (NPG).
The project takes point of departure in four different European cases, where BPP has been deployed in the field of employment. The project considers these cases as the best examples of the deployment of BPP within the European field of employment. Besides these four cases, the project is based on interviews with actors who has been involved in the implementation of behavioural economics initiative during the latest unemployment benefits reform in Denmark. These interviews have provided insights into the underlying understandings and choices of the implementation.
Overall the project concludes that BPP has great opportunities for integration alongside the existing management paradigm. The Danish context moreover provides great opportunities for the deployment of BPP. Nevertheless, implementing initiatives solely bases on BPP causes difficulties, in particular then the initiatives are rather complex.
The implementation of a purpose-bases BPP in organizations can furthermore create complications.
In three of the four European cases, the BPP-bases initiatives are combined with other kinds of management such as PA, NPM and NPG. Thereby BPP seems to be successfully integrated within the existent management context. The last case applying BPP only, are less complex than the three other cases and focus on more simple initiative.
The project concludes that implementation of BPP initiatives relies on the context. The project has interviewed two unemployment funds, which has completely different perceptions and practice then it comes to implementing BPP initiatives from the unemployment benefits reform. This illustrates the crucial role of adjusting behavioural economic thinking to not only the target group but also the parties responsible for the implementation.
The different between the two unemployment funds is a result of loose implementation framework given by the Danish Ministry of Employment. These loose instructions may be an advantage since it leaves space for context-specific implementation. On the other hand, it does not secure that the conditions for BPP are being fulfilled during the implementation.
The Danish context appears well-suited for BPP initiatives. Due to an unemployment system based on strong evidence and an unemployment benefits system with great condition for particular ‘present-bias', which BPP seeks to prevent.
At the same time, the Danish tradition for the involvement of labor unions is an advantage because it provides great opportunities for context-specific knowledge.
BPP can furthermore contribute to the maintaining of the welfare state, although there are limits to incentive-bases management.

UddannelserForvaltning, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Kandidat
Udgivelsesdato29 maj 2017
Antal sider56


  • behavioural public policy
  • Beskæftigelsesområdet
  • BPP
  • Dagpengereform
  • Danmark
  • Storbritannien
  • England
  • Ungarn
  • Tyskland