Synopses & Reviews
Every day, we make decisions on topics ranging from personal investments to schools for our children to the meals we eat to the causes we champion. Unfortunately, we often choose poorly. The reason, the authors explain, is that, being human, we all are susceptible to various biases that can lead us to blunder. Our mistakes make us poorer and less healthy; we often make bad decisions involving education, personal finance, health care, mortgages and credit cards, the family, and even the planet itself.
Thaler and Sunstein invite us to enter an alternative world, one that takes our humanness as a given. They show that by knowing how people think, we can design choice environments that make it easier for people to choose what is best for themselves, their families, and their society. Using colorful examples from the most important aspects of life, Thaler and Sunstein demonstrate how thoughtful choice architecture” can be established to nudge us in beneficial directions without restricting freedom of choice. Nudge offers a unique new take from neither the left nor the right on many hot-button issues, for individuals and governments alike. This is one of the most engaging and provocative books to come along in many years.
"An essential read . . . an entertaining book. . . . The book isn't only humorous, it's loaded with good ideas that financial-service executives, policy makers, Wall Street mavens, and all savers can use."—John F. Wasik, Boston Globe Rebecca Walberg - National Post
"Two University of Chicago professors sketch a new approach to public policy that takes into account the odd realities of human behavior, like the deep and unthinking tendency to conform. Even in areas—like energy consumption—where conformity is irrelevant. Thaler has documented the ways people act illogically."—Barbara Kiviat, Time Barbara Kiviat
"I love this book. It is one of the few books I've read recently that fundamentally changes the way I think about the world. Just as surprising, it is fun to read, drawing on examples as far afield as urinals, 401(k) plans, organ donations, and marriage. Academics aren't supposed to be able to write this well."—Steven Levitt, Alvin Baum Professor of Economics, University of Chicago Graduate School of Business and co-author of Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything Steven Levitt
"The suggestions in Nudge provide fascinating examples of how tiny changes in context can cue radically different behaviour. Awareness of these cues empowers consumers, voters and decision-makers."—Rebecca Walberg, National Post George Scialabba - Boston Sunday Globe
"A manifesto for using the recent behavioral research to help people, as well as government agencies, companies and charities, make better decisions."—David Leonhardt, The New York Times Magazine Roger Lowenstein
"Engaging, enlightening."—George Scialabba, Boston Sunday Globe Daniel Kahneman
"In this utterly brilliant book, Thaler and Sunstein teach us how to steer people toward better health, sounder investments, and cleaner environments without depriving them of their inalienable right to make a mess of things if they want to. The inventor of behavioral economics and one of the nation's best legal minds have produced the manifesto for a revolution in practice and policy. Nudge
won't nudge you—it will knock you off your feet."—Daniel Gilbert, professor of psychology, Harvard University, Author of Stumbling on Happiness
“This is an engaging, informative, and thoroughly delightful book. Thaler and Sunstein provide important lessons for structuring social policies so that people still have complete choice over their own actions, but are gently nudged to do what is in their own best interests. Well done.”—Don Norman, Northwestern University, Author of The Design of Everyday Things
and The Design of Future Things
“This book is terrific. It will change the way you think, not only about the world around you and some of its bigger problems, but also about yourself.”—Michael Lewis, author of The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game
and Liar's Poker
"Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein's Nudge
is a wonderful book: more fun than any important book has a right to be—and yet it is truly both."—Roger Lowenstein, author of When Genius Failed
“How often do you read a book that is both important and amusing, both practical and deep? This gem of a book presents the best idea that has come out of behavioral economics. It is a must-read for anyone who wants to see both our minds and our society working better. It will improve your decisions and it will make the world a better place.”—Daniel Kahneman, Princeton University, Nobel Laureate in Economics
David Leonhardt - The New York Times Magazine
A groundbreaking discussion of how we can apply the new science of choice architecture to nudge people toward decisions that will improve their lives by making them healthier, wealthier, and more free
About the Author
Richard H. Thaler is considered a pioneer in the fields of behavioural economics and finance. Born in New Jersey, USA, on September 12, 1945, Thaler received his bachelor's degree from Case Western Reserve University in 1967. He received his master's degree in 1970 from the University of Rochester and his Ph.D. in economics in 1974.
Thaler first gained attention between 1987 and 1990 with a regular column, "Anomalies," published in the Journal of Economic Perspectives. In his column he wrote of individual instances in which economic behavior seemed to violate traditional microeconomic theory.
Daniel Kahneman later cited his joint work with Thaler as a "major factor" in his receiving the Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel. Commenting on the prize, he said, "The committee cited me 'for having integrated insights from psychological research into economic science'. Although I do not wish to renounce any credit for my contribution, I should say that in my view the work of integration was actually done mostly by Thaler and the group of young economists that quickly began to form around him."
Thaler has written a number of books intended for the lay reader on the subject of behavioral finance, including Quasi-rational Economics and The Winner's Curse, the latter of which contains many of his "Anomalies" columns revised and adapted for a popular audience. Thaler is an active voice in the global discussions underway on the subject of individual pension plans. Thaler and like-minded colleagues have been using behavioral findings to influence President Bush’s proposal for Social Security reform.
Thaler is currently Robert P. Gwinn Professor of Behavioral Science and Economics and Director of the Center for Decision Research, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago. He is also Research Associate, National Bureau of Economic Research (co-director with Robert Shiller of the Behavioral Economics Project, funded by the Russell Sage Foundation).
Cass R. Sunstein was born in 1954. He graduated in 1975 from Harvard College and in 1978 from Harvard Law School magna cum laude. After graduation, he clerked for Justice Benjamin Kaplan of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court and Justice Thurgood Marshall of the U.S. Supreme Court. Before joining the faculty of the University of Chicago Law School, he worked as an attorney-advisor in the Office of the Legal Counsel of the U.S. Department of Justice. Mr. Sunstein has testified before congressional committees on many subjects, and he has been involved in constitution-making and law reform activities in a number of nations, including Ukraine, Poland, China, South Africa, and Russia. A member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Mr. Sunstein has been Samuel Rubin Visiting Professor of Law at Columbia, visiting professor of law at Harvard, vice-chair of the ABA Committee on Separation of Powers and Governmental Organizations, chair of the Administrative Law Section of the Association of American Law Schools, a member of the ABA Committee on the future of the FTC, and a member of the President's Advisory Committee on the Public Service Obligations of Digital Television Broadcasters.
Mr. Sunstein is a member of the Department of Political Science as well as the Law School. He is author of many articles and a number of books, including After the Rights Revolution: Reconceiving the Regulatory State (1990), Constitutional Law (co-authored with Geoffrey Stone, Louis M. Seidman, and Mark Tushnet) (1995), The Partial Constitution (1993), Democracy and the Problem of Free Speech (1993), Legal Reasoning and Political Conflict (1996), Free Markets and Social Justice (1997), Administrative Law and Regulatory Policy (1998) (with Justice Stephen Breyer and Professor Richard Stewart and Matthew Spitzer), One Case At A Time (1999), Behavioral Law and Economics (editor, 2000), Designing Democracy: What Constitutions Do (2001), Republic.com (2001), Risk and Reason (2002), The Cost-Benefit State (2002), Punitive Damages: How Juries Decide (2002), Why Societies Need Dissent (2003), The Second Bill of Rights (2004), and Laws of Fear: Beyond the Precautionary Principle (2005). He is now working on various projects involving the relationship between law and human behavior.