Comparing behavioral assumptions of policy tools: Framework for policy designers

Karol Olejniczak*, Pawel sliwowski, Frans Leeuw

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The article provides a comparative framework for articulating assumptions made during the policy design process. That includes the framing of the policy issue in terms of the behavior of addressees, identifying problems that obstruct compliance, and choosing a tool with a distinctive change mechanism. Based on this discussion, a spectrum of six generic policy tools have been provided and illustrated with examples: (1) equipping policy subjects to perform behavior, (2) banning misbehavior, (3) dis/incentivizing addressees to behave in a certain way, (4) informing to raise the awareness about need for compliance, (5) boosting, and (6) nudging towards desired behavior.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)498-520
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Comparative Policy Analysis
Issue number6
Early online date5 Oct 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2020


  • policy instruments
  • behavioral insights
  • policy design aids
  • tools typology
  • comparative framework
  • change mechanisms

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