NYU Abu Dhabi inaugurates Centre for Behavioural Institutional Design

NYU Abu Dhabi inaugurates Centre for Behavioural Institutional Design

ABU DHABI, 21st June, 2021 (WAM) -- New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) has hosted a public event to mark the opening of its Centre for Behavioural Institutional Design (C-BID), a first-of-its-kind institution in the UAE that researches behavioural social science and use the insights it obtains to inform and improve public policymaking.

The event brought together more than 70 attendees, featured several pre-recorded videos of high-profile speakers from the UAE government, as well as world-renowned experts in the field of behavioural social science, including Hamad Ali Al Dhaheri, Under-Secretary of the Abu Dhabi Department of Community Development; Cass Sunstein, Founder and Director of the Programme on Behavioural Economics and Public Policy at Harvard Law School, and Al Roth, Professor of Economics at Stanford University and 2012 winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics.

The centre will be led by Global Network Professors of Economics in NYUAD’s Social Science Division John Wooders and Nikos Nikiforakis, together with other lead researchers, Associate Professors of Economics at NYUAD Olivier Bochet and Ernesto Reuben.

"C-BID aims to create partnerships with the community, to build capacity in behavioural social science in the Abu Dhabi and UAE government, and assist in the design of smart, science-driven policies," Prof. Nikiforakis said.

Behavioural social science studies the complexity and diversity of human behaviour. Instead of relying exclusively on models from classical economics that assume people are perfectly rational, the field uses insights from the behavioural sciences, including psychology and the cognitive sciences, to better understand and predict behaviour.

"C-BID’s overarching goal is to construct empirically-validated models of human behaviour, and use these models to improve social welfare through public policy and institutional design that address many of the challenges governments face, in areas as diverse as improving health outcomes or maximising revenue from public asset sales," Prof. Wooders stated.

In addition to its cutting-edge scientific research and policy advice, the centre will play a critical role in building capacity in behavioural social science through partnerships with the government. This will include offering new courses to train local talent and planning executive education programmes for existing government and private sector employees.

Applying research from behavioural social science to real-world problems is in line with the 2030 Economic Vision for Abu Dhabi’s core goals, including building an open, efficient, effective, and globally integrated business environment; driving significant improvements in the efficiency of the labour market, and developing a highly-skilled, highly productive workforce.

In addition to bringing together faculty from across the NYU Global Network, C-BID will also work directly with local, regional and international policymakers, as well as world-renowned economists, psychologists, sociologists, neuroscientists and other experts spanning the social and behavioural sciences, to establish a globally recognised knowledge hub for behavioural social science and public policymaking in Abu Dhabi.