A USDA Center of Excellence

Why Behavioral Science?

Insights from the behavioral sciences are revolutionizing the way in which government programs are designed and delivered, and we are bringing this revolution to agri-environmental programs. A “test, learn, adapt” strategy helps programs be their best, achieve greater levels of program participation and satisfaction, and achieve improved environmental outcomes, all while reducing costs.

The Center for Behavioral & Experimental Agri-Environmental Research (CBEAR) was established in 2014, funded through competitive grants from the USDA Economic Research Service (2014-2019) and from the USDA National Institute for Food and Agriculture (2019-2023). CBEAR works with program administrators at the USDA and its partners to incorporate behavioral insights into program designs. CBEAR has twice been named a USDA Center of Excellence.

Enhancing the Evidence Base

To create evidence-based programs, CBEAR has been conducting randomized field experiments across the US. On the map below, we highlight the zip codes where CBEAR field experiments have generated evidence that can make agri-environmental programs more cost-effective.

CBEAR Objectives

To make agri-environmental programs perform better, CBEAR aims to accomplish four objectives: