Nudging, fast and loose

Responding the Mongin & Cozic’s journal article James Wilson questions why it matters from a public policy perspective whether an intervention is classed as a nudge, let alone which of the three nudge sub-concepts it falls under. An intervention’s being a nudge is neither necessary nor sufficient for its being justifiable. … More Nudging, fast and loose

Unnecessary Nudges and Necessary Deceptions

Responding to an article by Sinaiko and Zeckhauser in Issue 1 of 2018 Marmor and White argue that it takes behavioural economics beyond its appropriate bounds when discussing health plan terminations. They argue that the paper serves to illustrate “the persistent effort to see the donkey of insurer choice as a beautiful unicorn – if only the right choice architecture could be created”. In practice, the health insurance market is dependant upon people making “wrong” choices and insurers making choice difficult. Perhaps behavioural economists could study the conditions that yield more or less stable equilibria of deceptions on one side and mistakes on the other. … More Unnecessary Nudges and Necessary Deceptions

Solution Aversion

In a February 2018 LSE lecture on climate change Cass Sunstein highlighted a problem of “solution aversion”; the phenomenon that people deny problems when averse to solutions. Titled, ‘Solution aversion: On the relation between ideology and motivated disbelief,’ and written by then PhD student Troy Campbell and Professor Aaron Kay the paper became Duke University’s most viewed research press release when it was released in 2014. In this blog, Troy Campbell, now a professor at the University of Oregon, explains the problematic phenomena, the nuances, extensions, and the many potential solutions to solution aversion.   … More Solution Aversion

Measuring media impact: A brief history and analysis

What impact does media really have on how people think and behave? What are the implications of any impact for public policy. Jamie Walsh argues that media communications can be an important tool in behavioral public policy, and should be welcomed with cautious optimism. If the media powerfully affects people’s sense of self-worth and dignity, interventions risk undermining individual agency. Conversely, they also have the capacity to expand how people see themselves, their world, and their possibility. … More Measuring media impact: A brief history and analysis

Individual or Social Wellbeing: New approaches to public policy

The 2018 Annual Behavioural Public Policy Seminar at the LSE, brought together behavioural researchers in economics, philosophy, health, and social policy. The current research presented included; the latest application of a wellbeing measure to policy decisions; the incorporation of locus of control to explain positive discrimination in health insurance; the effect of of hospital competition on quality when the level of altruism within hospitals varies; and the case for equality of outcomes to feature in public policy decisions involving ambiguity. … More Individual or Social Wellbeing: New approaches to public policy