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Merle van den Akker & Cass R. Sunstein, Do People Like Financial Nudges, SSRN (Dec. 2, 2023).

Abstract: Do people like financial nudges? To answer that question we conducted a survey presenting people with 36 hypothetical scenarios describing financial nudges. We varied levels of transparency (i.e. explaining how the nudge worked), framing (nudges framed in terms of spending, or saving), and ”System” (nudges could either target System 1 or System 2). Participants were a random sample of 2,000 people drawn from a representative Australian population. All financial nudges were tested across six domains: approval, perceived benefit, perceived ethics, perceived manipulation, the likelihood of use, as well as the likelihood of use if the nudge were to be proposed by a bank. Results indicate that people generally approve of financial nudges, rating them as neutral to positive across all domains (except for manipulation, which was reverse coded). We find effects of framing and System. People have strong and significant preferences for System 2 nudges, and nudges framed in terms of savings. Transparency was not found to have a significant impact on how people rate financial nudges. Financial nudges continue to be rated positive, regardless of the messenger. Looking at demographics, we find that participants who were female, younger (under 35), living in urban areas and richer (earning over 80,000 AUD) were most likely to favour financial nudges. We discuss the implications for these results as applied to the financial sector.