Governments find a gentle nudge can get results

Australians should be prepared for more nudges from government agencies encouraging us to do the right thing, similar to recent examples such as letters from the ATO urging us to pay our taxes to support our way of life, and their friendly SMS reminders to lodge our tax returns on time. For the Australian Government has established its very own behavioural economics unit, otherwise known as a nudge unit, to figure out how it can shake us citizens out of our typical inertia and do the right thing, whether that be paying our taxes on time, eating the right food or not drinking or gambling too much (see Peter Martin’s excellent recent article Just a nudge). The new nudge unit was launched by US behavioural economics expert, Harvard Professor and White House adviser Cass Sunstein, who was in Australia last week, and indeed made his way to Brisbane to deliver a presentation at QUT. Alas, I was unable to attend his presentation but I did get a copy of the slides which you can download at the link below.

Sunstein presentation on Nudging Citizens

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2 Responses to Governments find a gentle nudge can get results

  1. Glen says:

    Doesn’t sound like the sort of govt I want Gene but it seems even the worlds biggest democracy is on the road to being a nanny state. If a business targets me with emails, texts etc that I don’t want I simply unsubscribe, don’t like my chances of the Govt having an unsubscribe button.

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