- Classic nudge-style policies: changing defaults, trying to influence social norms.
- Incentive-based policies: shopping vouchers for dieters.
- Full-blown regulation: banning branded cigarette packages.
The mandatory wearing of seat belts and the introduction of the ban on smoking in public places are two examples where legislation fundamentally altered, and some would say restricted, the choices of individuals.Some would say???
The last couple of months seem to have seen a surge in mainstream interest in behavioural economics, which is good news - but also quite a few misunderstandings about what it is.
Some people understand it better, though - for example the OFT, which has carried out some behavioural experiments and released an interesting report today about the psychological effect of price advertising. More on that tomorrow.