From Mechanism to Virtue: Evaluating Nudge-Theory

Evaluation (forthcoming)

RegNet Research Paper No. 2015/80

23 Pages Posted: 19 Jun 2015

See all articles by Jeroen van der Heijden

Jeroen van der Heijden

Victoria University of Wellington, School of Government; School of Regulation & Global Governance (RegNet)

Mark Kosters

Australian Government, Office of Best Practice Regulation and Deregulation Policy Division

Date Written: 2015

Abstract

Ever since Thaler and Sunstein published their influential Nudge, the book and the theory it presents have received great praise and opposition. Nudge-theory, and more particularly, nudging may be considered an additional strategy providing some novel instruments to the already rich governance toolbox. But what is its value? The current debates on Nudge-theory are often highly normative or ideologically driven and pay limited attention to more practical aspects of the theory: Whether and how is nudging evaluable as a theory and a practice? Whether there is solid evidence available of nudge success over other governance interventions? What is to be considered a nudge success at all? What data and evaluative techniques may assist in evaluating nudging beyond individual cases? The current article seeks to explore these questions.

Keywords: Governance, Nudge-theory, policymaking, governance instruments, governance evaluation

Suggested Citation

van der Heijden, Jeroen and Kosters, Mark, From Mechanism to Virtue: Evaluating Nudge-Theory (2015). Evaluation (forthcoming), RegNet Research Paper No. 2015/80, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2620082 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2620082

Jeroen Van der Heijden (Contact Author)

Victoria University of Wellington, School of Government ( email )

PO Box 600
Wellington 6140
New Zealand

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.victoria.ac.nz/sog/about/staff/jeroen-vanderheijden

School of Regulation & Global Governance (RegNet) ( email )

Australian National University
Building #8
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200
Australia

Mark Kosters

Australian Government, Office of Best Practice Regulation and Deregulation Policy Division ( email )

PO Box 6500
CANBERRA ACT 2600
Australia

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