"Nudge"


1. "Nudge?":

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Below is the definition of "nudge" from Mac's built-in dictionary:
nudge |nəj|
verb [ with obj. ]
prod (someone) gently, typically with one's elbow, in order to draw their attention to something: people were nudging each other and pointing at me.
• touch or push (something) gently or gradually: the canoe nudged a bank of reeds.
• coax or gently encourage (someone) to do something: we have to nudge the politicians in the right direction.
• approach (an age, figure, or level) very closely: both men were nudging fifty.
noun
a light touch or push: he gave her shoulder a nudge | figurative : she appreciated the nudge to her memory.
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2. Behavioral economics:

The word "nudge" is now commonly associated with behavioral economics, a relatively new field which looks at how actual humans behave vs. what traditional economic theory predicted they would behave. Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein's 2008 book Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness popularized the term. For those interested in behavioral economics, check out the following books:

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2. The Nudge Unit in the UK:
The Behavioral Insights Team (BIT), more commonly known as the "Nudge Unit," was initially set up by the UK government in 2010. The Cabinet Office established BIT to find ways to use nudge theory to improve policy, save spending costs for the UK government and "help people make better choices for themselves." Reportedly a big fan of Thaler and Sunstein's book, he initiated the nudge unit as he got into office. Since then, BIT has turned into a limited company owned partly by the UK government, Nesta, and its employees.

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Since then, BIT has published interesting findings on evidence-based public policy, on both what worked and didn't.

3. Nudging outside the UK:
Since BIT was established, other governments have shown interests in nudging. The Singaporean government published an interesting article on the challenges of making policy people would actually follow - Policy Making Tip: Nudge, Not Shove.For example, people are more likely to pay their bills if they're printed on pink paper, or would reduce their water usage if they're simply reminded that other people are also wasting less water.
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