Nudge Theory Founder Wins 2017 Nobel Prize for Economics

Richard Thaler, one of the founding fathers of “nudge” theory, which has helped boost British tax receipts and encouraged smokers to become vapers, has been awarded the 2017 Nobel prize for economics. It is about the notion that people can be influenced by prompts – such as changing the wording of tax demands – to alter their behaviour.

In the UK, the theory played out in tweaking the sentences in tax reminder letters to increase HMRC takings, and influencing Theresa May’s announcement of an “opt out” policy for organ donations where it is presumed that people wish to donate body parts unless they state otherwise. The Department of Health has also adopted nudge principles in its approach to e-cigarettes. Brexit could be an example of behavioural economics in action. British voters chose an economically irrational route when considering the options put to them by elites and the mainstream media. Read more on the story and about behavioural economics here

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