Behavioral responsive regulation: Bringing together responsive regulation and behavioral public policy

Netta Barak-Corren*, Yael Kariv-Teitelbaum

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The ambition to improve regulators' responsiveness to regulatees has been the driving force of two of the most influential theories in regulation in the past decades: responsive regulation (RR) and behavioral public policy (BPP). Yet despite their substantial impact and shared ambitions, RR and BPP have rarely intersected. In this paper, we explore the intellectual evolution of RR and BPP and compare their differences in assumptions, methodology, and prescriptions. We argue that these differences can be leveraged to promote both theories and generate a synthesis – behavioral responsive regulation (BRR) – that surpasses its progenitors in helping to understand and improve regulation. We offer an expanded regulatory pyramid for BRR and illustrate the advantages of our approach in many contexts and particularly through the example of taxation. Finally, we argue that BRR promotes the effectiveness, efficiency, and legitimacy of regulation and is superior in these dimensions to both RR and BPP.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)S163-S182
JournalRegulation and Governance
Issue numberS1
StatePublished - Nov 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank Ittai Bar‐Siman‐Tov, Ilan Benshalom, John Braithwaite, Yuval Feldman, Thomas Stanton, Doron Teichman, and Eyal Zamir for their comments on a previous draft, Emily Millane and Miranda Stewart for an insightful discussion, and Naomi Goldman for excellent research assistance. Barak‐Corren is grateful for the Israeli Science Foundation for its generous financial support (grant 1487/19).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd.


  • behavioral economics
  • behavioral public policy
  • enforcement pyramid
  • nudge
  • responsive regulation


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