Incentive-compatible biosecurity policies — a framework for regulatory design

Humans are largely responsible for the spread of pests and diseases across the globe, via air and sea cargo, mail, and travel. Governments impose regulations intended to reduce biosecurity risks from these activities. Each biosecurity regulation creates an inducement (an incentive) for individuals to take actions that they would otherwise not consider. This occurs whether or not actors explicitly consider incentives in regulation design. If incentives are not explicitly considered, objectives are unlikely to be met. Worse still, the regulation may trigger the opposite  of the intended behaviour and incur significant costs of managing incursions, checking compliance, or in managing trade relationships. Explicitly considering incentives in the design of biosecurity regulations will significantly improve their effectiveness and efficiency.

The overarching objective of this project is to apply well-established economic ideas and techniques to create a systematic framework for incorporating incentives into regulation design. This project will use a mix of economic theory, field trials and case studies in combination with scientific knowledge on the behaviour of pests and diseases (epidemiology) to deliver a framework for the development and roll-out of incentive-compatible biosecurity regulation.

CEBRA Project Leader: Susie Hester

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