1) Yale’s Dean Karlan says it’s not a surprise that taxes on junk food are more effective than subsidies for healthy food at changing consumer habits. It’s about loss aversion: “People are just more responsive to price increases than decreases.”
2) Colleges are trying Trayless Tuesdays. Is yours?
3) San Francisco has adopted a public school matching algorithm similar to the one mentioned in the school choice chapter of Nudge. Hat tip: Market Design, which notes “the nice thing is that the underlying choice architecture will make it safe for parents to state their true preferences however the priorities are adjusted.”
4) Pepsi is cutting sugary drinks from schools around the world.
5) More women are asking surgeons to remove a healthy breast along with a cancerous breast, even though removing the healthy breast doesn’t change their odds of survival, says the New York Times. Why? “But women who have opted for the procedure say it’s not about the statistics. Once they receive a breast cancer diagnosis, they never again want to experience the stress of a mammogram or biopsy.”
Addendum: A pilot project using Netflix like technology to predict which patients need checkups and send them email alerts. Hat tip: Marginal Revolution.