Catherine's Reviews > Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth and Happiness

Nudge by Richard H. Thaler
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Jan 02, 12

bookshelves: bookcrossing
Read in January, 2012

An interesting look at how the way in which choices are presented - or not - affects the decisions we make. It is written as a reasoned manifesto for what the authors refer to as libertarian paternalism. Many of their suggestions relate to individual economic choices, but other things are considered from the trivial (how to keep men's loos cleaner) to the fundamental (the role of marriage in modern society). Existing systems come in for praise where it is due, as well as criticism, and there is an American bias. In spite of this there is no polemic or ranting and some examples from elsewhere acknowledge that the rest of the world exists - something which is sometimes missing from populist political or economic books (and not just American ones) perhaps in a misguided attempt too make sure the readership doesn't switch off when faced with the unfamiliar. While it doesn't set out to be entertaining in the way of say Freakonomics, it is written with humour and the sort of asides that make it feel conversational rather than dry.
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