- 4 Dec 2020
Date received: 8 Oct 2020
Date responded: 18 Nov 2020
You asked for:
1. The economic assessment made of changes to trading hours for bars and pubs announced by the First Minister on 7 October 2020.
2. (a) The number of behavioural economists employed by the Scottish Government and (b) how many are working on Covid - 19 policies, restrictions.
In response to Part 1 of your request, I enclose in Annex 1 a copy of all of the information that is within the scope of your request.
In response to Part 2 of your request, the answer to your question is set out below:
The Scottish Government employs economists who are part of the Government Economic Service. They are recruited as general economists and take on posts across a variety of policy areas in government. There are no economists specifically designated as behavioural economists employed by the Scottish Government. Our economists, working with other analytical professions, continue to contribute to analysis that supports the Scottish Government’s Covid-19 response.
The Scottish Government draws upon insights from behavioural scientists in developing our response to Covid-19. The Scottish Government’s Covid-19 Advisory Group includes prominent academic behavioural scientists, who have advised on messaging and wider compliance. The Scottish Government also has membership of, and draws upon insight from, a UK wider group of behavioural science experts called the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Behaviours (SPI-B). This is a subgroup of SAGE, which commissions, undertakes and shares research on issues around Covid-19. These routes help ensure the Scottish Government has a robust understanding of behavioural issues in developing our response to Covid-19.
Information on the Scottish Government’s Covid-19 Advisory Group is available at the following address: https://www.gov.scot/groups/scottish-government-covid-19-advisory-group/
Information on SPI-B is available at the following address: https://www.gov.uk/government/groups/independent-scientific-pandemic-influenza-group-onbehaviours-spi-b#membership
The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.
Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000
The Scottish Government
St Andrews House