Talk: Syon Bhanot

Friday, February 22, 2019 - 1:30pm to 3:00pm

402 Cohen Hall

Title: Integrating Behavioral Science Experiments with Public Policy

Abstract: In the last decade, behavioral science has grown in prominence as a framework for studying public policy topics. In this talk, Professor Syon Bhanot will discuss his work integrating behavioral science, using randomized field experiments in particular, into public policy. The talk will center around policy-related experiments with the City of Philadelphia through the Philadelphia Behavioral Science Initiative (PBSI;, but will also touch on Professor Bhanot's work in the international development space (with organizations like the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, and USAID). Results of various randomized evaluations will be discussed, as well as some "lessons learned" on how best to build bridges between the academic and policy worlds.


Syon Bhanot

Assistant Professor

Swarthmore College


Professor Bhanot is a behavioral and public economist, and an Assistant Professor of Economics at Swarthmore. His research centers on field experiments that use behavioral science concepts to influence decision-making, with a focus on pro-social behavior and various issues related to public policy, development, and poverty.

He is also a Research Affiliate at the Busara Center for Behavioral Economics, a Senior Researcher at the Applied Cooperation Team (ACT) at Yale University, and a founding member of the Philadelphia Behavioral Science Initiative. He is also serving as President of the Behavioral and Experimental Economists of the Mid-Atlantic (BEEMA), a group of regional academics studying behavioral and experimental economics, in 2017-2018. Professor Bhanot is also an award-winning teacher, having taught courses at Harvard, Brown, and Northeastern, among others. See his personal website for more.