The Topology of Contextual Choice: Can Nudge Policy Work in the Real World?

20 Pages Posted: 14 Aug 2018

See all articles by Abigail Devereaux

Abigail Devereaux

George Mason University, Department of Economics

Date Written: June 24, 2018

Abstract

Behavioral biases are action-trajectories that lie outside the space defined by neoclassical economic theory. Economists working in nudge theory, a subfield of behavioral economics, claim that it is possible to transform undefined trajectories to trajectories in neoclassical space without deforming the object that is traversing the undefined trajectory. Using basic theorems and intuition from graph theory, we demonstrate that nudge policy for integral (fully-connected) topologies of interaction may not be meaningful for nonintegral (not fully-connected) topologies of interaction, like social networks. We believe our results have major implications for the validity of nudge-type policies.

Keywords: behavioral economics, nudge theory, mathematical economics, game theory, networks, complexity economics

JEL Classification: D90, C02, L14, B41

Suggested Citation

Devereaux, Abigail, The Topology of Contextual Choice: Can Nudge Policy Work in the Real World? (June 24, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3202012 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3202012

Abigail Devereaux (Contact Author)

George Mason University, Department of Economics ( email )

Fairfax, VA
United States

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
40
Abstract Views
240
PlumX Metrics