Rev Austrian Econ (2009) 22:425–429 DOI 10.1007/s11138-009-0094-4 Review of Richard H. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein, Nudge: Improving decisions about health, wealth, and happiness New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2008, 293+x pages. Alexandre Padilla Published online: 3 October 2009 Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2009 Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein is about how the government can improve people’s lives, but Nudge is also a direct attack on economics and, more exactly, the economics allegedly being taught at the University of Chicago. Ultimately, Nudge attempts to sell old ideas in a new package: markets do not work well and often exploit people’s weaknesses instead of helping them. The government must therefore intervene to correct these inefficiencies. Nudge starts with a simple assertion: human beings do not behave like the homo economicus of economics models (p. 7). Over the years, behavioral science has shown through experiments that human beings are not the unbiased calculating machines that economists picture in their textbooks. People are fallible, weak, and often do not know what is good for them, and when they know, they are either too lazy or not smart enough to do
The Review of Austrian Economics – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 3, 2009
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