When it was published in 2008, Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein’s Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness quickly became one of the most influential books in modern economics and politics. Within a short time, it had inspired whole government departments in the US and UK, and others as far afield as Singapore. One of the keys to Nudge’s success is Thaler and Sunstein’s ability to create a detailed and persuasive case for their take on economic decision-making. Nudge is not a book packed with original findings or data; instead it is a careful and systematic synthesis of decades of research into behavioral economics. The discipline challenges much conventional economic thought – which works on the basis that, overall, humans make rational decisions – by focusing instead on the ‘irrational’ cognitive biases that affect our decision making. These seemingly in-built biases mean that certain kinds of economic decision-making are predictably irrational. Thaler and Sunstein prove themselves experts at creating persuasive arguments and dealing effectively with counter-arguments. They conclude that if governments understand these cognitive biases, they can ‘nudge’ us into making better decisions for ourselves. Entertaining as well as smart, Nudge shows the full range of reasoning skills that go into making a persuasive argument.
Thaler and Sunstein create persuasive arguments and dealing effectively with counter-arguments. This little booklet explores this seminal work. It offers an additional learning resource structuring and explaining the main contents. It is structured in three main parts: influences, ideas, and impact.
Lucia A. Reisch Journal of Consumer Policy
Ways in to the Text
Who are Richard H. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein?
What does Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness Say?
Section 1: Influences
Module 1: The Author and the Historical Context
Module 2: Academic Context
Module 3: The Problem
Module 4: The Author's Contribution
Section 2: Ideas
Module 5: Main Ideas
Module 6: Secondary Ideas
Module 7: Achievement
Module 8: Place in the Author's Work
Section 3: Impact
Module 9: The First Responses
Module 10: The Evolving Debate
Module 11: Impact and Influence Today
Module 12: Where Next?
Glossary of Terms
People Mentioned in the Text
Making the ideas of the world’s great thinkers accessible, affordable, and comprehensible to everybody, everywhere.
With a growing list of over 180 titles across a broad range of subject areas, Macat works with leading academics from the world’s top universities to produce new analyses that focus on the ideas and the impact of the most influential works ever written. By setting them in context – and looking at the influences that shaped their authors, as well as the responses they provoked – Macat encourages readers to look at these classics and game-changers with fresh eyes.