Category Archives: Behavioral Economics and Public Policy

Podcast on Healthcare.gov 3.0

The Managing Editor of the New England Journal of Medicine interviewed me about the piece I wrote, with David Comerford and Eric Johnson, on redesigning the health insurance exchanges. For those of you with long commutes, here is that podcast: … Continue reading

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More on Healthcare.gov 3.0

Here is a nice follow-up story on my recent New England Journal article on improving the design of health insurance exchanges. Comparing health insurance plans – whether signing up through Healthcare.gov or weighing employer-sponsored plans with a spouse – can … Continue reading

Posted in Behavioral Economics and Public Policy, Health & Well-being, Health Policy | Tagged ,

Q & A With Richard Thaler On What It Really Means To Be A “Nudge”

Nudge is one of the most important and influential books on behavioral science and public policy I’ve ever read. Co-authored by economist Richard Thaler and lawyer Cass Sunstein, the book lays out the rationale for adopting policies designed to make … Continue reading

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Healthcare.gov 3.0–Improving the Design of the Obamacare Exchanges

I joined two other, much smarter, colleagues in calling for the use of behavioral economics and decision psychology to improve the design of the websites people use to purchase health insurance in the U.S. That article came out today in … Continue reading

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When It Comes to Cancer Screening, Are We All Nuts?

In a recent Health Affairs article, David Asch and I wrote about how hard it can be to stop screening aggressively for things like breast and prostate cancer even when the evidence suggests we are doing more harm than good. … Continue reading

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The Power of Free

The Atlantic recently reproduced a figure showing just how much people like things when they are free. Specifically, they looked at health interventions and show that people are more likely to take up these interventions, or products, when they don’t … Continue reading

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What Causes Couch Potatoes To Eat So Many Potato Chips?

Do you eat when you’re bored? So do I. Then again, I eat when I’m not bored, too. So the real question is: do we all eat more when we’re bored than, say, when we’re highly entertained? The answer, according … Continue reading

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Has The “Nudge” Meme Gotten Out of Control?

A tweet recently came across my feed that captures a problem with the popularity of the nudge meme. The meme took off with the justifiable popularity of Thaler and Sunstein’s eponymous book, in which they promote the idea of influencing … Continue reading

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Brilliant Nudge to Promote Physical Activity

The stairs to the left of the escalator don’t just look like a piano keyboard, but make musical sounds as people walk on each step. Not convinced this will work? Check out this video, which shows people heading towards the … Continue reading

Posted in Behavioral Economics and Public Policy, Health & Well-being | Tagged ,

A Picture Putting Risks into Perspective

The National Health Service in the United Kingdom has recently disseminated a wonderful graphic, helping people understand how likely they are to die from scary things, like war and airplane accidents, versus less terrifying but deadlier hazards, such as high … Continue reading

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