Two nudging conversations with Richard Thaler

1) Richard Thaler talked with NPR’s Morning Edition about whether government messages about the economy affect consumer behavior? Does economic cheerleading make a difference? (The clip runs about 4 minutes.)

A listener then posts this terrific haiku that sums up Thaler’s message:

In debt? Thrift will help.

Got money? Spend it freely.

Good for all of US.

(Please note that when read aloud, US is one syllable. On paper of course, the implied U.S. is also there.)

2) Thaler takes part in an interesting To the Point roundtable on the place of Nudge and behavioral economics in the Obama campaign and administration. One example is advice from behavioralists to campaign field directors in the final weeks of the campaign was to tweak the voter message to say, “A record turnout is expected.” The most effective motivator for getting people to vote is the expectation that others will vote too. Also taking part to discuss criticisms from the left and right were writers from Time, the New Republic, and Reason magazine. (The conversation lasts about 35 minutes. It starts at about 7 minutes and 45 seconds.)

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  • http://ideaclearinghouse.blogspot.com Wayne Smith

    On “On the Point” Thaler just SCHOOLED Ron Bailey who clearly didn’t read the book. There is no slippery slope if you can opt out. No mention of his appearance on the ReasonOnline site.