Tag Archives: behavioral economics

Does Having Too Much Money Make Us Stupid?

As a science, economics does not always succeed at predicting how humans behave. The discipline assumes a level of rationality, and an ability to process complex information, that far exceeds human capacity. But as a standard for how people ought to behave, … Continue reading

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Using Behavioral Economics to Design Smarter Physician Incentives

Last year, I joined Zeke Emanuel and some other great people in publishing an article on how to use the insights of behavioral economics to nudge physicians towards providing high-value care. Here is a link to that article. To give … Continue reading

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Chew on This: Willpower Predicts How Quickly You Respond to the Taste of Food

Taste versus health: That’s a trade-off we are often faced with when deciding what to eat. Some foods are bad for our health but happen to taste quite good. All of us have limited willpower, and when we are exhausted … Continue reading

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How to Keep Santa from Making Our Kids Fat –Three Ways to Reduce Childhood Obesity

The holidays are upon us. It’s a time to celebrate with loved ones, maybe even enjoy a well-earned vacation. But it is also a time that many of us gain weight, with children developing eating habits that could set them … Continue reading

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Surprise – Here’s What Happens When You Try to Help Your Spouse Lost Weight

Ever wonder why your spouse eats too much even when you warn him or her not to eat too much? It could be because your admonitions put your spouse into a state of reactance, causing them to go against your … Continue reading

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Why Charging Smokers More for Health Insurance Costs All of Us Money

Cigarette smokers have rights. No one should be able to tell an adult that she can’t spend her hard earned money on cigarettes. But non-smokers have rights, too. Specifically, they shouldn’t have to pay to subsidize health care costs of … Continue reading

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Is It Fair to Reward Medicaid Patients for Receiving Flu Shots?

My son was underperforming at school, and I was gently encouraging him to try harder (if gesticulating like an over caffeinated Italian qualifies as gentle encouragement). He could not understand why I was upset: “Dad, most of my friends are … Continue reading

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Do You Overeat? Blame Childhood Stress

Lots of us eat when we are stressed. But did you know that even when we are not currently under stress, the amount of food we eat might be influenced by the stress we experienced as children? That’s the conclusion … Continue reading

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How to Stop Over-Eating — Lessons from Brain Science

Put our brains into the modern food environment, and you have a recipe for disaster. Our brains are hardwired to crave calorie-dense foods, this craving no doubt arising from our evolutionary time spent on the Tundra where calories were often … Continue reading

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What Behavioral Economics Get Wrong About Improving Healthcare

It is notoriously difficult to change physician behavior. When it’s discovered that primary care physicians are, say, prescribing too few cholesterol pills or too many antibiotics, it will not be easy to change those behaviors. Physicians are strong-willed people, with … Continue reading

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