But Tory interest in Thaler has not stopped there. When he arrived in London last week to do some teaching, five senior Conservatives met him for more than an hour to discuss his ideas and how they might work together. Steve Hilton, the party's head of strategy and Cameron's chief ideas man, was there, as were director of research James O'Shaughnessy and Oliver Letwin, MP and head of the party's policy review. … [Read more...] about From Obama to Cameron, why do so many politicians want a piece of Richard Thaler?
So, less "Big Brother is watching you" than "Big Brother is stealthily corralling you"? That's one way of looking at it. But the unit would argue that the society whose members are encouraged towards the right decisions by market incentives rather than regulation is the society that stays together. And gets less wee on its shoes. Health secretary Andrew Lansley was promoting "the theory" yesterday. Thaler calls it "libertarian paternalism". … [Read more...] about Pass notes No 2,890: The Nudge Unit
Wilson is adamant that the brand will not lose its way. Behind-the-scenes investment in its IT and supply chain – rather than the current vogue for chunky soled boots – is what is shifting the dial. At the same time its boots are a familiar accessory for people with something to say, whether about the climate crisis or politics. … [Read more...] about Oh so pretty … political upheaval credited for Dr Martens sales boost
The argument that markets generally work best has been made by successive governments, Tory and Labour, over the last three decades. And they have moved to introduce and extend markets in more and more areas of public life – from hospitals to schools to water suppliers. And it's happening again with universities, where the Browne review takes as one of its fundamental assumptions that "students are best placed to make the judgment about what they want to get from participating in higher education" – a lovely example of market-speak. … [Read more...] about Cameron’s hijacking of Nudge theory is a classic example of how big ideas get corrupted
Behavioural work was undertaken by Tony Blair; under Gordon Brown the emphasis shifted to changes in the law and regulations. The aim of the unit, strongly supported by George Osborne, is to explore ways of encouraging citizens to behave in social ways relying on market incentives, as opposed to regulations. The initial work of the unit will be focused on areas such as public health issues such as obesity, alcohol intake or organ donation. … [Read more...] about David Cameron’s ‘nudge unit’ aims to improve economic behaviour