The John M. Olin Center

Paper Abstract

927. Shlomo Benartzi, John L. Beshears, Katherine L. Milkman, Cass R. Sunstein, Richard H. Thaler, Maya Shankar, Will Tucker-Ray, William J. Congdon & Steven Galing, Should Governments Invest More in Nudging?, 06/2017.

Abstract: Governments are increasingly adopting behavioral science techniques for changing individual behavior in pursuit of policy objectives. The types of “nudge” interventions that governments are now adopting alter people’s decisions without resorting to coercion or significant changes to economic incentives. We calculate ratios of impact to cost for nudge interventions and for traditional policy tools, such as tax incentives and other financial inducements, and we find that nudge interventions often compare favorably to traditional interventions. We conclude that nudging is a valuable approach that should be used more in conjunction with traditional policies, but more relative effectiveness calculations are needed.

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