Behavioral Economics and Healthy Behaviors : Key Concepts and Current Research book cover
1st Edition

Behavioral Economics and Healthy Behaviors
Key Concepts and Current Research

ISBN 9781138638211
Published June 7, 2017 by Routledge
248 Pages

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Book Description

The field of behavioural economics can tell us a great deal about cognitive bias and unconscious decision-making, challenging the orthodox economic model whereby consumers make rational and informed choices. But it is in the arena of health that it perhaps offers individuals and governments the most value. In this important new book, the most pernicious health issues we face today are examined through a behavioral economic lens. It provides an essential and timely overview of how this growing field of study can reframe and offer solutions to some of the biggest health issues of our age.

The book opens with an overview of the core theoretical concepts, after which each chapter assesses how behavioral economic research and practice can inform public policy across a range of health issues. Including chapters on tobacco, alcohol and drug use, physical activity, dietary intake, cancer screening and sexual health, the book integrates the key insights from the field to both developed and developing nations.

Also asking important ethical questions around paternalism and informed choice, this book will be essential reading for students and researchers across psychology, economics and business and management, as well as public health professionals wishing for a concise overview of the role behavioral economics can potentially play in allowing people to live healthier lives.

Table of Contents


Part I: Background Material

Chapter 1: Introduction- Yaniv Hanoch, Andrew J. Barnes, and Thomas Rice

Chapter 2: A Brief Overview of Behavioral Economic- Thomas Rice, Yaniv Hanoch, and Andrew J. Barnes

Part II: Shaping Health Behaviour

Chapter 3: The Behavioral Economics of Tobacco Products: Innovations in Laboratory Methods to Inform Regulatory Science

-Warren K. Bickel, Lara N. Moody, Sarah E. Snider, Alexandra M. Mellis, Jeffrey S. Stein, and Amanda J. Quisenberry

Chapter 4: Understanding Alcohol and Other Drug Use via Behavioral Economics: Review and Clinical Applications

-Michael Amlung, Joshua Gray, and James MacKillop

Chapter 5: Behavioral Economic Tools for Promotion of Physical Activity

-Tammy Leonard and Kerem Shuval

Chapter 6: Using Behavioral Economics to Improve Dietary Intake: Alternatives to Regulation, Bans, and Taxation

-Marie A. Bragg and Brian Elbel

Part III: Detecting and Managing Disease

Chapter 7: Improving Medication Adherence with Behavioral Economics

-Steven E. Meredith and Nancy M. Petry

Chapter 8: Integrating Principles from Behavioral Economics into Patient Navigation Programs Targeting Cancer Screening

-Yan Li, Fernando A. Wilson, Roberto Villarreal, and José A. Pagán

Chapter 9: Behavioral Economics and HIV: A Review of Existing Studies and Potential Future Research Areas

-Sebastian Linnemayr

Chapter 10: Behavioral Economics and Health Behaviors among the Poor: Findings from Developing Country Populations

-Jill Luoto

Part IV: The Role of Providers, Insurers, and Government

Chapter 11: Applications of Behavioral Economics to Clinical Quality Improvement

-Daniella Meeker and Jason N. Doctor

Chapter 12: Using Behavioral Economics to Improve People’s Decisions about Purchasing Health Insurance

-Andrew J. Barnes, Thomas Rice, and Yaniv Hanoch

Chapter 13: The Role of Government: How Behavioral Economics Can Inform Policies to Improve Health Behaviors

-Aditi P. Sen and Richard G. Frank


About the Editors and Authors


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Yaniv Hanoch is Professor of Decision Science in the School of Psychology, University of Plymouth, UK. Professor Hanoch is interested in the intersection between decision science, health economics, and psychology. His research interests include consumer decision making (especially with regard to health insurance), communicating (health) risk information, medical decision making, offenders’ decision making and risk taking, and life-span changes in risk taking. He is currently serving as an associate editor of the Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics.


Andrew J. Barnes is Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Behavior and Policy at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, Research Associate of Massey Cancer Center, and affiliate faculty in the Center for the Study of Tobacco Products.  His training is in health policy and economics and his research interests include applying behavioral economics to health policies, particularly in the areas of substance use and health insurance. Dr. Barnes is the co-author of the book Healthcare Systems in Transition: United States of America.


Thomas Rice is Professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, with a joint appointment in Public Policy. He is a health economist who has studied national health care systems, competition and regulation, behavioral economics, physicians’ economic behavior, health insurance, and the Medicare program. The fourth edition of his book, The Economics of Health Reconsidered, was published in 2016. He led a team of researchers that wrote a book published in 2013 about the U.S. health care system, for the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies. Dr. Rice served as editor of the journal, Medical Care Research and Review, from 1994 to 2000.