David Brooks on the coming “behavioral revolution” in public policy

If you start thinking about (humans) faulty perceptions, the first thing you realize is that markets are not perfectly efficient, people are not always good guardians of their own self-interest and there might be limited circumstances when government could usefully slant the decision-making architecture (see “Nudge” by Thaler and Cass Sunstein for proposals).

From The Behavioral Revolution by David Brooks, who tempers his initial enthusiasm by claiming that “government officials are probably going to be even worse perceivers of reality than private business types.” Nudging, as we have argued, is not the exclusive purview of policymakers. It is for CEOs, social entreprenuers, doctors, parents, and anyone who is responsible for structuring the context of choices for other people.


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