MPI Europe Webinar
The Next Frontier in Immigrant Integration Policy? Using Behavioral Insights to Foster Social Cohesion
Laura Gonzalez-Murphy, Director of Immigration Policy and Research, New York State Department of State
Will Somerville, UK Programme Director, Unbound Philanthropy; UK Senior Fellow, Migration Policy Institute
Antonio Silva, Senior Advisor, Behavioural Insights Team
Meghan Benton, Senior Policy Analyst; Assistant Director for Research, International Programme, Migration Policy Institute
Can tiny tweaks in how public policy is designed and how services work really “nudge” us to become better citizens? An increasing number of governments think so. Policymakers have used behavioral insights—an interdisciplinary, research-based approach to policy design grounded in understanding how people make choices in practice—to great effect to inspire people to become organ donors, encourage them to pay their taxes on time, and more.
But while behavioral insights have been adopted in everything from education to health policy, their application in the field of immigrant integration has so far been limited. Could this method be used to promote social mixing and reduce inequality between those with and without a migrant background? Emerging experimental and real-world evidence suggests a range of ways a behavioral lens could to help policymakers reach their integration goals, from fostering open-mindedness among young people and reducing classroom segregation to encouraging immigrants to become citizens.
On this webinar, speakers explored what untapped potential behavioral insights may hold for integration policy, and how policymakers can start fitting this approach into their work. The webinar marked the release of an MPI Europe-Behavioural Insights Team report, Applying Behavioral Insights to Support Immigrant Integration and Social Cohesion, produced under the framework of MPI Europe's Integration Futures Working Group.