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Behavioral Economics

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Americans in states across the country started getting vaccinated with the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen Covid vaccine again yesterday, after regulators ended a suspension of the vaccine that had lasted almost two weeks. The FDA and the CDC decided to halt the use of the J&J vaccine on April 13 over concerns about a rare blood-clotting disorder that had been found in six people who had received it, one of whom had died. (AstraZeneca’s Covid vaccine, which is in wide use in the U.K. and Europe, has also been linked to blood clots). …

Freakonomics Radio

For nearly a decade, governments have been using behavioral nudges to solve problems — and the strategy is catching on in health care, firefighting, and policing. But is that thinking too small? Could nudging be used to fight income inequality and achieve world peace?

Photo: Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images

Almost ten years ago, a quiet revolution began in London, in the very heart of the U.K.’s central government. This revolution promoted something that shouldn’t really need promoting: policy-making based on empirical evidence.

After all, wouldn’t it make sense for governments to design policy based on data-driven solutions rather than on opinion polls or personal whim or (worse yet) the demands of the highest bidder? This was the revolutionary idea behind the establishment in 2010 of the Behavioural Insights Team — or as it’s more commonly called, the Nudge Unit.

Its mission was to translate the best current social-science research…

Freakonomics Radio

An all-star team of behavioral scientists discovers that humans are stubborn (and lazy, and sometimes dumber than dogs). We also hear about binge drinking, humblebragging, and regrets. Recorded live in Philadelphia with guests including Richard Thaler, Angela Duckworth, Katy Milkman, and Tom Gilovich.

About two years ago on Freakonomics Radio, we interviewed Angela Duckworth and Katy Milkman, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, about an audacious new project they called Behavior Change for Good. It gathered together a “dream team” of behavioral scientists with the goal of advancing the science of behavior change and helping more people make good decisions about personal finance, health, and education.

On this week’s episode of Freakonomics Radio, we caught up with Duckworth and Milkman on the status of their project and the latest research in their circles. To that end, we also heard from four members of…


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