Behavioural Economics and Human Decision Making: Instances from the Health Care System

Lara Carminati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Over the last two decades behavioural economics has gained much momentum among scholars because of its innovative and controversial ways of explaining processes and mechanisms underpinning individuals' judgements and decision making. Thanks to these features, behavioural economics has been applied to diversified domains, namely finance, public choice and marketing. Although the intrinsic characteristics of the health care sector, ranging from incomplete and asymmetrical information to high frequency of critical choices, make the sector a fertile ground for behavioural economics applications, research on the influences of behavioural economics on health care and clinical decision making are still rather fragmented. Therefore, through an interdisciplinary literature review integrating behavioural economics research with medical and behavioural decision-making studies, this article contributes to behavioural decision-making literature by providing a wide overview of how behavioural economics strategies may impact, and be implemented in, diverse health care circumstances. Examples of behavioural economics applications to health care circumstances include: organ donation and transplantation; habitual choices; individuals' loss aversion and trust; present-biased preference; decision fatigue and excessive choice. Hence, this article aims to promote the effective behaviour of both consumers and providers in health care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)659-664
Number of pages6
JournalHealth policy (Amsterdam, Netherlands)
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2020


  • Behavioural Economics
  • Decision Making
  • Health Care Sector
  • Traditional Economics

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