Inside the Nudge Unit: How Small Changes Can Make a Big Difference

Inside the Nudge Unit: How Small Changes Can Make a Big Difference

by David Halpern


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Behavioral scientist Dr. David Halpern heads up the UK government's "Nudge Unit," the world’s first government institution that uses behavioral economics to examine and influence human behavior, to "nudge" us into making better decisions. Seemingly small and subtle solutions have led to huge improvements across tax, healthcare, pensions, employment, crime reduction, energy conservation, and economic growth. Adding a crucial line to a tax reminder brought forward millions in extra revenue; refocusing the questions asked at the job center helped an extra 10% of people go off their benefits and back into work; prompting people to become organ donors while paying for their car tax added an extra 100,000 donors to the register in a single year. Now David Halpern and the Nudge Unit will help you to make better choices and improve your life. The Nudge Unit has attracted widespread media and public interest—large pieces have run in the New York Times and Economist; and it's been subject to case studies and reviews by the Harvard Business School and Goldman Sachs.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780753556559
Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/01/2016
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 587,672
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.70(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

David Halpern is the Chief Executive of the Behavioural Insights Team and Board Director. He has led the team since its inception in 2010. Prior to that, David was the founding Director of the Institute for Government and between 2001 and 2007 was the Chief Analyst at the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit. Before entering government, David held tenure at Cambridge and posts at Oxford and Harvard. He has written several books and papers on areas relating to behavioural insights and wellbeing, including Social Capital (2005), the Hidden Wealth of Nations (2010), and co-author of the MINDSPACE report. David has recently written a book about the team entitled Inside the Nudge Unit: How Small Changes Can Make a Big Difference.

Table of Contents

Foreword ix

Preface 1

Section 1 A short history of nudging 13

1 Early steps 15

2 Nudging goes mainstream 38

Section 2 Changing the world a nudge at a time 59

3 Easy 62

4 Attract! 80

5 Social 106

6 Timely 126

Section 3 Behavioural insights as a policy tool 151

7 Data and transparency 153

8 A different approach to big policy challenges 185

9 Well-being: Nudging ourselves, and each other, to happier lives 218

10 What works? The rise of experimental government 266

Section 4 Where next? 299

11 Risks and limitations 301

12 Conclusion: Where next? 336

Notes 352

Acknowledgements 369

Index 375

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