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Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness

by Richard H. Thaler , Cass R. Sunstein

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Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness
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Overview

Overview

Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness by Richard H. Thaler, Cass R. Sunstein

From the winner of the 2017 Nobel Prize in Economics, Richard H. Thaler, and Cass R. Sunstein: a revelatory look at how we make decisions—for fans of Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink and Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking Fast and Slow

New York Times bestseller
Named a Best Book of the Year by The Economist and the Financial Times

Every day we make choices—about what to buy or eat, about financial investments or our children’s health and education, even about the causes we champion or the planet itself. Unfortunately, we often choose poorly. Nudge is about how we make these choices and how we can make better ones. Using dozens of eye-opening examples and drawing on decades of behavioral science research, Nobel Prize winner Richard H. Thaler and Harvard Law School professor Cass R. Sunstein show that no choice is ever presented to us in a neutral way, and that we are all susceptible to biases that can lead us to make bad decisions. But by knowing how people think, we can use sensible “choice architecture” to nudge people toward the best decisions for ourselves, our families, and our society, without restricting our freedom of choice.

More than 750,000 copies sold

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Product Details
ISBN-13:
9780143115267
9780143115267
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
02/24/2009
Edition description:
Updated
Pages:
320
320
Sales rank:
836
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range:
18 Years
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About the Author

About the Author

Richard H. Thaler was awarded the 2017 Nobel Prize in Economics. He is the Charles R. Walgreen Distinguished Service Professor of Behavioral Science and Economics at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, where he is the director of the Center for Decision Research. He is also the co-director (with Robert Shiller) of the Behavioral Economics Project at the National Bureau of Economic Research and in 2015 was the president of the American Economic Association. He has been published in several prominent journals and is the author of a number of books, including Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics.
 
Cass R. Sunstein is the Robert Walmsley University Professor at Harvard Law School, where he is the founder and director of the Program on Behavioral Economics and Public Policy. He is by far the most cited law professor in the United States. From 2009 to 2012 he served in the Obama administration as Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. He has testified before congressional committees, appeared on national television and radio shows, been involved in constitution-making and law reform activities in a number of nations, and written many articles and books, including Simpler: The Future of Government and Wiser: Getting Beyond Groupthink to Make Groups Smarter.
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Read an Excerpt

Read an Excerpt

Common "Nudges"

  1. The design of menus gets you to eat (and spend) more. For example, lining up all prices on either side of the menu leads many consumers to simply pick the cheapest item. On the other hand, discretely listing prices at the end of food descriptions lets people read about the appetizing options first…; and then see prices.
  2. "Flies" in urinals improve, well, aim. When Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport was faced with the not uncommon issue of dirty urinals, they chose a unique solution: by painting "flies" in the (center of) commodes, men obligingly aimed at the insects, reducing spillage by 80 percent.
  3. Credit card minimum payments affect repayment schedules. Among those who only partially pay off credit card balances each month, the repayment level is correlated with the card's minimum payment — in other words, the lower the minimum payment, the longer it takes a consumer to pay off the card balance.
  4. Automatic savings programs increase savings rate. All over the country, companies are adopting the Save More Tomorrow program: firms offer employees who are not saving very much the option of joining a program in which their saving rates are automatically increased whenever they get a raise. This plan has more than tripled saving rates in some firms, and is now offered by thousands of employers.
  5. "Defaults" can improve rates of organ donation. In the United States, about one–third of citizens have signed organ donor cards. Compare this to Austria, where 99 percent of people are potential organ donors. One obvious difference? Americans must explicitly consent to become organ donors (by signing forms, for example) while Austrians must opt out if they do not want to be organ donors.


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Table of Contents

Table of Contents

NudgeAcknowledgments
Introduction

Part I: Humans and Econs

1. Biases and Blunders
2. Resisting Temptation
3. Following the Herd
4.When Do We Need a Nudge?
5. Choice Architecture

Part II: Money

6. Save More Tomorrow
7. Naive Investing
8. Credit Markets
9. Privatizing Social Security: Smorgasbord Style

Part III: Health

10. Prescription Drugs: Part D for Daunting
11. How to Increase Organ Donations
12. Saving the Planet

Part IV: Freedom

13. Improving School Choices
14. Should Patients Be Forced to Buy Lottery Tickets?
15. Privatizing Marriage

Part V: Extensions and Objections

16. A Dozen Nudges
17. Objections
18. The Real Third Way
19. Bonus Chapter: Twenty More Nudges
Postscript: November 2008
Notes
Bibliography
Index

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Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“One of the few books . . . that fundamentally changes the way I think about the world.” —Steven D. Levitt, coauthor of Freakonomics

“Engaging and insightful . . . The conceptual argument is powerful, and most of the authors’ suggestions are common sense at its best. . . . For that we should all applaud loudly.” —The New York Times Book Review

“An essential read . . . The book isn’t only humorous, it’s loaded with good ideas that financial-service executives, policy makers, Wall Street mavens, and all savers can use.” —The Boston Globe
 
“This book is terrific. It will change the way you think, not only about the world around you and some of its bigger problems, but also about yourself.” —Michael Lewis, author of Moneyball and Liar’s Poker

“This gem of a book . . . is a must-read for anyone who wants to see both our minds and our society working better. It will improve your decisions and it will make the world a better place.” —Daniel Kahneman, Nobel Prize–winning author of Thinking, Fast and Slow
 
“Utterly brilliant . . . Nudge won’t nudge you—it will knock you off your feet.” —Daniel Gilbert, author of Stumbling on Happiness

“Nudge is as important a book as any I’ve read in perhaps twenty years. It is a book that people interested in any aspect of public policy should read. It is a book that people interested in politics should read. It is a book that people interested in ideas about human freedom should read. It is a book that people interested in promoting human welfare should read. If you’re not interested in any of these topics, you can read something else.” —Barry Schwartz, The American Prospect
 
“Engaging, informative, and thoroughly delightful.” —Don Norman, author of The Design of Everyday Things and The Design of Future Things

“A wonderful book: more fun than any important book has a right to be—and yet it is truly both.” —Roger Lowenstein, author of When Genius Failed
 
“Save the planet, save yourself. Do-gooders, policymakers, this one’s for you.” —Newsweek
 
“Great fun to read . . . Sunstein and Thaler are very persuasive.” —Slate
 
“Nudge helps us understand our weaknesses, and suggests savvy ways to counter them.” —The New York Observer
 
“Always stimulating . . . An entertaining book that also deeply informs.” —Barron’s
 
“Entertaining, engaging, and well written . . . Highly recommended.” —Choice
 
“This Poor Richard’s Almanack for the 21st century . . . shares both the sagacity and the witty and accessible style of its 18th-century predecessor.” —Law and Politics Book Review
 
“There are superb insights in Nudge.” —Financial Times

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Customer Reviews (65)
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January 18, 2009
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October 19, 2010
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November 25, 2008
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    Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness
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    Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness / Edition 1
    Pub. Date: 04/08/2008
    Publisher: Yale University Press
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    Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness
    Pub. Date: 02/24/2009
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    Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness
    Pub. Date: 02/24/2009
    Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
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    Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness
    Pub. Date: 06/15/2008
    Publisher: Yale University Press
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