Business Daily Media

Business News

law professor Cass Sunstein, on why behavioural science is always nudging us

law professor Cass Sunstein, on why behavioural science is always nudging us

What can governments do to stop increasing obesity rates, help people save or get them to file their tax returns on time? The default answer used to be some kind of tax or penalty. Just make people pay more and they’ll do the right thing, right?

But what if you could encourage certain behaviour without forcing the issue? That’s where nudges come in. These are small changes in design or presentation, like putting healthy food near the cash register, or sending reminders out around tax time.

For this episode of Speaking with, The Conversation’s Josh Nicholas chats with Cass Sunstein, a Harvard professor who worked as a “regulatory czar” for years in the Obama administration. Sunstein literally wrote the book on nudges[1] along with Richard Thaler, who won the 2017 economics Nobel Prize[2]. The book is called Nudge: Improving decisions about health, wealth and happiness.

Read more: The promise and perils of giving the public a policy 'nudge'[3]

As the controversial My Health Record[4] has shown, behavioural science is now considered a standard part of the public policy toolkit. My Health Record was created to be “opt out”, in order to “nudge[5]” people into remaining in the system.

This takes advantage of a bias we have towards the default setting: many of us won’t expend the effort to opt out. Many governments – including Australia’s – now have professional “nudge units[6]” stocked with behavioural scientists, working on problems such as tax avoidance and organ donation.

Today on Speaking with, Professor Sunstein talks about nudges and public policy, when and where they work and how policymakers should use them.

Subscribe[7] to The Conversation’s Speaking With podcasts on Apple Podcasts, or follow[8] on Tunein Radio.



  1. ^ wrote the book on nudges (
  2. ^ won the 2017 economics Nobel Prize (
  3. ^ The promise and perils of giving the public a policy 'nudge' (
  4. ^ controversial My Health Record (
  5. ^ nudge (
  6. ^ nudge units (
  7. ^ Subscribe (
  8. ^ follow (

Authors: Josh Nicholas, Deputy Editor: Business + Economy, The Conversation

Read more

Business Daily Media Business Development

An eCommerce Website Launching Checklist You Will Need

What is eCommerce? eCommerce is an online method of selling goods or services over the internet. eCommerce websites allow you to sell both physical and digital goods as well as provide a...

Patrick Watt - avatar Patrick Watt

10 Terms to Include In Your Lease Or Rental Agreement

A rental or lease agreement outlays the rules agreed upon by landlords and tenants for their rental relationship. This agreement is a legally binding contract filled with important detai...

Patrick Watt - avatar Patrick Watt

How Can Small Businesses Grow in 2022 and Beyond?

We can all agree that ever since the pandemic broke out, the business world has changed beyond recognition. Every company, regardless of its size, has been affected, but it goes without ...

Business Daily Media - avatar Business Daily Media

SAP study finds e-invoicing could save Aussie SMBs over $40,000 a year

Those who have already transitioned report saving time and money, greater accuracy and security    SAP SE (NYSE: SAP) today announced Australian small and medium-sized businesses... - avatar

Writers Wanted

Content & Technology Connecting Global Audiences

More Information - Less Opinion