Which Nudges Do People Like? A National Survey

26 Pages Posted: 19 Jun 2015 Last revised: 23 Jun 2015

See all articles by Cass R. Sunstein

Cass R. Sunstein

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

Date Written: June 22, 2015


In surveys, majorities of Americans disapprove of twelve hypothetical nudges (seven involving default rules, five involving education campaigns or disclosure requirements). These results provide an illuminating contrast with the majority support for twenty-two nudges that were also tested, and that are more realistic examples of the kinds of nudges that have been adopted or seriously considered in democratic nations. In general (and with some interesting exceptions), there is a strikingly broad consensus, across partisan lines, about which nudges do and do not deserve support. The best understanding of the data is that people dislike those nudges that (a) promote what people see as illicit ends or (b) are perceived as inconsistent with either the interests or values of most choosers. A ranking of the thirty-four nudges, in terms of their popularity, is provided, along with reports of differences (when they exist) among Democrats, Republicans, and Independents.

Suggested Citation

Sunstein, Cass R., Which Nudges Do People Like? A National Survey (June 22, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2619899 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2619899

Cass R. Sunstein (Contact Author)

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

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