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Nudges.gov: Behavioral Economics and Regulation

Forthcoming, Oxford Handbook of Behavioral Economics and the Law (Eyal Zamir and Doron Teichman eds.)

46 Pages Posted: 18 Feb 2013 Last revised: 21 Feb 2013

Cass R. Sunstein

Harvard Law School; Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

Date Written: February 16, 2013

Abstract

Behavioral economics is influencing regulatory initiatives in many nations, including the United States and the United Kingdom. The role of behavioral economics is likely to increase in the next generation, especially in light of the growing interest in low-cost, choice-preserving regulatory tools. Choice architecture -- including default rules, simplification, norms, and disclosure -- can affect outcomes even if material incentives are not involved. For example, default rules can have an even larger effect than significant economic incentives. Behavioral economics has helped to inform recent and emerging reforms in areas that include savings, finance, distracted driving, energy, climate change, obesity, education, poverty, health, and the environment.

Keywords: behavioral economics, nudge, regulation, energy efficiency

JEL Classification: D003, D10, D11, D18, D60, D80, K0, K2

Suggested Citation

Sunstein, Cass R., Nudges.gov: Behavioral Economics and Regulation (February 16, 2013). Forthcoming, Oxford Handbook of Behavioral Economics and the Law (Eyal Zamir and Doron Teichman eds.). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2220022 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2220022

Cass R. Sunstein (Contact Author)

Harvard Law School ( email )

1575 Massachusetts Ave
Areeda Hall 225
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-496-2291 (Phone)

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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