Since the publication of the book "Nudge" by Cass Sunstein and Richard Thaler, these nudges received a lot of attention from policy and decision makers. They are widely applied and make their way into the corporate culture in many countries. Nudges are attempts to influence decisions of individuals not by classic means such as money (e.g. subsidizes for retirement saving, taxes on unhealthy products such as alcohol and cigarettes, discounts to attract consumers) or bans. Instead, nudges try to push people in a direction without changing their choices. For example, reporting calories in a restaurant menu can induce people to eat less fat food, changing default rules on retirement-savings decisions can induce people to save more, or reporting your exercising to friends can help people to do more sports.

This seminar introduces the behavioral-economic concepts behind nudges, and introduces a powerful empirical tool that becomes increasingly relevant for policy evaluation - randomized control trials. These RCTs are frequently used to evaluate policies in general, but nudges in particular.


Language: English