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Articles on behavioural economics

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I drank how much more than my peers? www.shutterstock.com

How to start nudging people to drink less alcohol

Excessive drinkers are more likely to seek help when their drinking habits are compared with their peers than when they are simply given the guidelines.
Love between countries is more important than strong legal agreements. Ryan Rodrick Beiler / Shutterstock.com

Why soft climate deals are better than tough ones

The Paris climate deal has been criticised for not being strong enough. But behavioural economics studies show weak deals can work out better in the long run.
Is the right to pursue happiness equally available to all Americans? Josh Hallett

The fragile American Dream: insights from the economics of happiness

Foundation essay: This article is part of a series marking the launch of The Conversation in the US. Our foundation essays are longer than our usual comment and analysis articles and take a wider look…
Experimenting with bubbles. Flickr/Indigo Skies Photography

Brain scans could be used to predict financial bubbles

Some shares have new owners every second. Today much of the buying and selling is done by computers, but some still rely…
People are notoriously bad at filtering choices - being faced with too many leads us to choose poorly. Image sourced from www.shutterstock.com

AUDIO Q&A: Neuroeconomics and the answer to the ‘curse of choice’

We are faced with a myriad of choice in our lives - but an emerging body of work suggests the more choice we’re faced with, the more likely we’ll make a poor decision. The conundrum is called the “curse…
Neuroeconomics is a burgeoning field aimed at helping us understand decision-making. Image sourced from www.shutterstock.com

Explainer: neuroeconomics, where science and economics meet

Whether choosing a dinner, a car, a spouse or an investment, experts now know what part of the brain our likes and dislikes are encoded, how we represent alternatives, and even how we choose. This has…
‘Nudge’ theory - a form of behavioural economics - encourages rather than coerces. Image sourced from www.shutterstock.com

‘Nudging’ people towards changing behaviour: what works and why (not)?

Earlier this week an impressive cast of academics, policy experts and business leaders gathered in Sydney at the inaugural Behavioural Exchange meeting to talk about “nudges”. Made famous by Richard Thaler…
All in the wording: behavioural science, such as the ‘nudge’ concept isn’t new, or quasi-science. Image sourced from www.shutterstock.com

Why can’t we just behave? Free drinks and behavioural science

In recent years, books like Predictably Irrational, Nudge and Thinking Fast and Slow have catapulted the findings of behavioural science (think cognitive psychology and behavioural economics) into new-found…
Power of suggestion. Summer Kitchen

Nudge can make us healthier even if it’s a bit 1984

In George Orwell’s futuristic dystopia Nineteen Eighty-Four, O’Brien, an apparatchik of the Thought Police come sadistic torturer, famously boasts to the book’s protagonist Winston Smith, “We create human…

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