Lucia Reisch

El-Erian Professor of Behavioural Economics & Policy

Director of the El-Erian Institute of Behavioural Economics & Policy

Professorial Fellow of Queens’ College

Dr. oec. (University of Hohenheim)

I am a behavioural economist and consumer researcher. My research interests focus on the theory and application of behavioural insights to promote behavioural change in individuals and organisations towards societal welfare and sustainable development. I have two decades of experience with high-level policy consulting on consumer behaviour and policy, including with the EU and World Bank, as we as governments worldwide.

I’m the inaugural Director of the El-Erian Institute for Behavioural Economics and Policy at Cambridge Judge Business School and a member of the Economics and Policy Subject Group.

Applying rigorous empirical research on the effectiveness and acceptability of behavioural insights to policymaking supports the change towards more sustainable consumption, production, and organisations.

Contact details

[email protected]

Academic area

Economics and Policy

Professional experience

Lucia brings 2 decades of experience with high-level policy consulting on consumer behaviour and behavioural policy. She has been founding chair of the Advisory Council for Consumer Affairs of the German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection (2014-2018). She has also been a member of the German Bioeconomy Council, the German Council for Sustainable Development (2010-2019), and a regular member of high-level scientific committees and ad hoc groups consulting for the German Chancellor Angela Merkel on sustainability issues (eg the Ethics Commission after Fukushima, 2011). Beyond the German government, Lucia has consulted for international organisations (EU, OECD, UNEP, World Bank, Inter American Bank) and governments worldwide on making use of behavioural insights.

Her academic achievement has been rewarded with being elected as a lifelong member of the German National Academy of Science and Engineering. She is also an honorary Leibniz Professor at the Leibniz Institute for Prevention Research and Epidemiology in Bremen, and an Elected Member of the Technical Academy of Science of Germany.

Lucia is the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Consumer Policy (SpringerNature), and on the editorial board of Behavioural Public Policy (Oxford University Press) and Food Policy (Elsevier).

She is a contributing author to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 6th Assessment Report.

At Queens’ College, she is Academic Director of the YNOT Institute: Data Science for Equity.

Previous appointments

Professor Reisch was a professor of consumer behaviour and policy at Copenhagen Business School prior to joining Cambridge Judge Business School.

News and insights

Behavioural nudges can make a big difference to battling climate change, says Cass R. Sunstein, a Harvard professor and Fellow at Cambridge Judge Business School.

Physical inactivity has remained unchanged at low levels globally for more than 20 years. A new study co-authored by Lucia Reisch of Cambridge Judge suggests better coordination can boost implementation of healthier policies.

Entrepreneurship and innovation

Looking at 2023

Cambridge Judge Business School faculty offer their insights and opinions on what to expect in 2023 in areas ranging from entrepreneurship to climate change to disinformation.

Media coverage

Project Syndicate | 28 July 2023

Defaulting to plant-based foods

In this article Professor Lucia Reisch explores what individuals can do about the catastrophic effects of climate change.

Institute of Directors | 24 March 2023

From the ‘C-Suite’ to ‘Gen-Z’ – why ESG needs to drive the new digital agenda

Lucia Reisch, Professor of Behavioural Economics & Policy at Cambridge Judge Business School, shares her thoughts in this article about the importance of ESG in today’s economy. 

ConSalud | 12 July 2022

Are healthy food messages and labels really effective?

A recent study co-authored by Cambridge Judge Business School has highlighted the limited impact that food messages that seek to improve our health have on consumers’ purchasing decisions, article says.

“The practical impacts of our findings are twofold: the results cast doubt on the effectiveness of targeted health messages as a mechanism for driving healthy food choices but suggest that healthy staple foods could prevent less healthy food choices by counteracting hedonic cues through the interaction of competing messages.” says study co-author Lucia Reisch, Professor of Economics and Behavioural Policy at the El-Erian Institute for Behavioural Economics and Policy at Cambridge Judge. (transl. from Spanish)