The research network was launched in October 2014 with the aim of developing and refining a methodology, at the interface of theory and empirics, that can be applied to the study of substantive issues in a variety of different settings and problems and hence deliver policy impact. The network is explicitly inter-disciplinary but with a disciplinary core located in economics and related social sciences.
The theory encompasses decision/game theory, behavioral economics, social/political theory; the empirical methods encompass longitutidinal studies, lab data, field experiments, qualitative methods and history. Examples of substantive issues that could be studied by members of the network include behavioral biases and poverty traps, the allocation of attention and salience of specific risks, measuring well-being, the role of risk and uncertainty in decision-making, markets and games, the drivers and the costs of financial crises/contagion, the costs of changing contractual terms in legal contracts in sovereign debt markets, drivers of innovation, using mechanism design in computer science. The research network aims to generate policy impact by adopting an evidence-based approach to policy design: modelling and quantifying the potential welfare gains/trade-offs underpinning specific policy initiatives.