Support for behavioral nudges versus alternative policy instruments and their perceived fairness and efficacy

Peter John, Aaron Martin*, Gosia Mikołajczak

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
110 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

An extensive debate has emerged in recent years about the relative merits of behavioral policy instruments (nudges) aimed at changing individual behavior without coercion. In this article, we examine public support for non-deliberative nudges and deliberative nudges and compare them to attitudes toward top-down regulation and free choice/libertarian options. We also examine whether support for both types of nudges is associated with perceptions of fairness and efficacy. We test these expectations with a survey experiment with 1706 UK adult respondents (representative of the population on age, gender, and location) in two policy areas (retirement savings and carbon offsets for airline passengers). We find higher levels of public support for both nudge policy options compared to top-down regulation. Support for nudges is associated with the perceived fairness of nudges more than their efficacy.

Original languageEnglish
JournalRegulation and Governance
Early online date11 Mar 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 11 Mar 2022

Keywords

  • behavioral science
  • deliberative nudges
  • nudge
  • policymaking

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