Laura's Reviews > Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness

Nudge by Richard H. Thaler
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's review
Jun 01, 12

Read in June, 2012

The first 40% or so of this book is theory,, concisely presented. Thaler and Sunstein focus on the biases that impact our decision-making, particularly social pressure, our tendency to procrastinate (and hence stay with our default option) and our tendency to rely on emotional rather than purely rational factors in making decisions. They argue that "choice architecture" - the way choices are presented to us - impact decision making, and that we can be "nudged" (hence the title) to select the best choices, which are those structured according to principles of "libertarian paternalism." Then there's a long section on various policy alternatives in all sorts of areas - medical care, retirement savings, environmental policy, same-sex marriage, school choice, to name a few. The policy section is interesting, but they go down some strange rabbit trails. I think I prefer reading their theory and then making my own policy choices - which they, of course, being paternalistic libertarians, are more than willing to let me do.
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message 1: by Pam (new)

Pam Your reviews are a "Good Read"! Thanks for the assessment. I have never read the phrase "libertarian paternalism". What a construct!

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