I have been posting quite regularly on this subject of using findings of BE/BF for public policy. Like this one on using BE for regulation, poverty and monetary policy.
I came across this superb paper on the same from 11 co-authors. The authors are frustrated as so far BE has not influenced policy as much:
The failure of psychology and behavioral economics to influence public policy is particularly painful and frustrating in light of the success of its sibling, economics, as the basis for policy recommendations. It is not that economics has nothing to offer policy – economics indeed provides policy-makers with vital tools. Rather, the success of economics clearly demonstrates that policy-makers are looking to academic fields for guidance in setting their policies, and given this general willingness to accept advice, it is unfortunate that behavioral scientists are not providing their own perspectives.
The authors look forward to answering three questions in this paper:
1) What kind of behavioral science is important for policy?
2) What are some possible directions for behavioral policy research?
3) What are some possible approaches to get policy-makers to listen to behavioral scientists.
They say it is a different thing to practice BE as in academics and altogether different to apply it in policies. The main problem is much of findings of BE depends on the situation. A person may respond to an incentive completely differently depending upon the situation. So, how do you make a policy which addresses all those changes.
They suggest Beh economists need to become experts in areas (like savings, poverty etc) so that they can capture those changes while applying to policy.
They suggest the principles should be applied first in areas where there will be little changes and benefits can be realised immediately. Then BE principles should be used to improve existing policy where the benefits have been well documented like increase in savings etc.
Then the main point- how do you make policymakers listen to you? They suggest start small and first work with communities and showcase the results and then move up. Working small has its advantages as stakes are lower and changes can be made much quicker.
Read the paper for further details.