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

Nudge by Richard H. Thaler
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Apr 03, 10

Read in April, 2010

The latest fashion round town, I have to say I mostly liked it! Of course the authors and I have very different frameworks, they like capitalism and I do not. This is certainly not about bold change, equality, or preventing environmental disaster. But that said, their points about human behaviour were thought-provoking and useful I think, particularly in how to structure choice thoughtfully and in a way that the default leads to a good outcome, while ensuring that freedom to choose is not limited for those who actively want it. Because they're right that our choices are always structured anyway, it's never really neutral. I think this way of thinking about nudges is incredibly useful for anyone providing any kind of services or doing certain kinds of policy or regulation. Of course, I'd prefer to see these techniques used in the great post capitalist society where I think they would still be useful. I have much sympathy for the libertarian streak and found it almost touching that they seem to feel their aspirations to a world of general open competition providing everything of the best at the lowest price to everyone equally and with complete transparency could be at all achievable ever under the current system.
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