Freakonomics co-author Stephen Dubner explains why he started writing about economics…

The reason that I started writing about economics, maybe ten years ago, is Richard Thaler, co-author of Nudge. When one starts to read the behavioural literature, one gets very, very excited. It’s so sexy and counter-intuitive. The insights gained from behavioural economic research, when put in the hands of someone like Thaler, can work practically. For example, he came up with the idea that every time people get a raise, they should contribute a slightly larger amount to their pension and still take home more money at the same time. You basically hide the pain of saving more, and it works well for everybody. To design a good nudge, it helps to know what the research in behavioural economics has said in the past.

From New Statesman interview.


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