The Harvard Law School Library staff invite you to attend a book talk titled Nudging Government by Professor Cass R. Sunstein, the Robert Walmsley University Professor at Harvard University. This talk also celebrates Professor Sunstein’s book Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness (Yale Univ. Press 2008) with special tribute to his co-author Richard H. Thaler, for his award by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, the 2017 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences.
Richard H. Thaler is the Charles R. Walgreen Distinguished Service Professor of Behavioral Science and Economics at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Thaler’s award was in part due to his pioneering work on “nudges,” including his co-authorship of Nudge.
Copies of Nudge will be available for sale and Professor Sunstein will be available for signing books at the end of the talk.
Monday, October 16, 2017 at noon, with lunch
Harvard Law School Room WCC 2019 Milstein West A (Map & Directions)
1585 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA
About Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness
“Every day, we make decisions on topics ranging from personal investments to schools for our children to the meals we eat to the causes we champion. Unfortunately, we often choose poorly. The reason, the authors explain in this important exploration of choice architecture, is that, being human, we all are susceptible to various biases that can lead us to blunder. Our mistakes make us poorer and less healthy; we often make bad decisions involving education, personal finance, health care, mortgages and credit cards, the family, and even the planet itself.
Thaler and Sunstein invite us to enter an alternative world, one that takes our humanness as a given. They show that by knowing how people think, we can design choice environments that make it easier for people to choose what is best for themselves, their families, and their society. Using colorful examples from the most important aspects of life, Thaler and Sunstein demonstrate how thoughtful “choice architecture” can be established to nudge us in beneficial directions without restricting freedom of choice. Nudge offers a unique new take―from neither the left nor the right―on many hot-button issues, for individuals and governments alike. This is one of the most engaging and provocative books to come along in many years.” — Yale University Press
More About Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness
“I love this book. It is one of the few books I’ve read recently that fundamentally changes the way I think about the world. Just as surprising, it is fun to read, drawing on examples as far afield as urinals, 401(k) plans, organ donations, and marriage. Academics aren’t supposed to be able to write this well.”— Steven Levitt, Alvin Baum Professor of Economics, University of Chicago Graduate School of Business and co-author of Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything
“In this utterly brilliant book, Thaler and Sunstein teach us how to steer people toward better health, sounder investments, and cleaner environments without depriving them of their inalienable right to make a mess of things if they want to. The inventor of behavioral economics and one of the nation’s best legal minds have produced the manifesto for a revolution in practice and policy. Nudge won’t nudge you—it will knock you off your feet.”— Daniel Gilbert, professor of psychology, Harvard University, Author of Stumbling on Happiness
“This is an engaging, informative, and thoroughly delightful book. Thaler and Sunstein provide important lessons for structuring social policies so that people still have complete choice over their own actions, but are gently nudged to do what is in their own best interests. Well done.”— Don Norman, Northwestern University, Author of The Design of Everyday Things and The Design of Future Things
“This book is terrific. It will change the way you think, not only about the world around you and some of its bigger problems, but also about yourself.”— Michael Lewis, author of The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game and Liar’s Poker
“[A] new book applying the lessons of social psychology and behavioral economics to everything from health care to climate maintenance. The authors of Nudge . . . agree with economists who’d like to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by imposing carbon taxes or a cap-and-trade system, but they think people need extra guidance.”— John Tierney, New York Times
“Two University of Chicago professors sketch a new approach to public policy that takes into account the odd realities of human behavior, like the deep and unthinking tendency to conform. Even in areas—like energy consumption—where conformity is irrelevant. Thaler has documented the ways people act illogically.”— Barbara Kiviat, Time
“Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein’s Nudge is a wonderful book: more fun than any important book has a right to be—and yet it is truly both.”— Roger Lowenstein, author of When Genius Failed
“A manifesto for using the recent behavioral research to help people, as well as government agencies, companies and charities, make better decisions.”— David Leonhardt, The New York Times Magazine
“How often do you read a book that is both important and amusing, both practical and deep? This gem of a book presents the best idea that has come out of behavioral economics. It is a must-read for anyone who wants to see both our minds and our society working better. It will improve your decisions and it will make the world a better place.”— Daniel Kahneman, Princeton University, Nobel Laureate in Economics