October 10, 2016

Nudge Theory in Action

Behavioral Design in Policy and Markets
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This collection challenges the popular but abstract concept of nudging, demonstrating the real-world application of behavioral economics in policy-making and technology. Groundbreaking and practical, it considers the existing political incentives and regulatory institutions that shape the environment in which behavioral policy-making occurs, as well as alternatives to government nudges already provided by the market. The contributions discuss the use of regulations and technology to help consumers overcome their behavioral biases and make better choices, considering the ethical questions of government and market nudges and the uncertainty inherent in designing effective nudges. Four case studies - on weight loss, energy efficiency, consumer finance, and health care - put the discussion of the efficiency of nudges into concrete, recognizable terms. A must-read for researchers studying the public policy applications of behavioral economics, this book will also appeal to practicing lawmakers and regulators.




Tyler Cowen, Mercatus Center at George Mason University

Introduction: Regulation versus Technology as Tools of Behavior Change

Sherzod Abdukadirov, Mercatus Center at George Mason University


Chapter 1: Overview of Behavioral Economics and Policy

Mark D. White, College of Staten Island, CUNY

Chapter 2: The Four Pillars of Behavioral Paternalism

Mario J. Rizzo, New York University

Chapter 3: Failing Better: What We Learn by Confronting Risk and Uncertainty

Adam Thierer, Mercatus Center at George Mason University

Chapter 4: Behavioral Nudges and Consumer Technology

Steve Wendel, Morningstar, Inc.

Chapter 5: Private-Sector Nudging: The Good, the Bad, and the Uncertain

Jodi N. Beggs, Northeastern University

Chapter 6: Who Should Nudge?

Sherzod Abdukadirov, Mercatus Center at George Mason University


Chapter 7: Weight-Loss Nudges: Market Test or Government Guess?

Michael Marlow, California Polytechnic State University

Chapter 8: Nudging in an Evolving Marketplace: How Markets Improve Their Own Choice Architecture

Adam C. Smith, Johnson & Wales University
Todd Zywicki, Mercatus Center at George Mason University

Chapter 9: One Standard to Rule Them All: The Disparate Impact of Energy Efficiency Regulations

Sofie E. Miller, George Washington University
Brian F. Mannix, George Washington University

Chapter 10: Nudges in Health Care

Robert Graboyes, Mercatus Center at George Mason University
Jessica Carges, Mercatus Center at George Mason University

Chapter 11: Conclusion: Behavioral Economics and Policy Interventions

Richard Williams, Mercatus Center at George Mason University