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A model for choice infrastructure: looking beyond choice architecture in Behavioral Public Policy


Interventions that tackle ‘last mile’ behaviors in the form of improved choice architecture are fundamental to Behavioral Public Policy (BPP), yet far less attention is typically paid to the nature and design of underlying system conditions and infrastructures that support these interventions. However, inattention to broader conditions that impact participant engagement and intervention functionality, such as barriers to access that deter participa- tion or perverse structural disincentives that reward undesirable behaviors, may not only limit the effectiveness of behavioral solutions but also miss opportunities to deliberately design underlying ‘plumbing’ – the choice infrastructure – in a way that improves overall system efficacy and equity. Using the illustrative case of civic policy in food licensure, this article describes how using a ‘SPACE’ model to address Standards, Process mechanics and policies, Accountability, Culture within systems, and Evaluative and iterative feedback can support the development of improved choice infrastructure, contributing to BPP problem- solving efforts by helping practitioners create system conditions that are more conducive to the success of behavioral solutions.


policy behaviour