Apr 7, 2009

Behavioral-science politics

The Obama campaign enlisted some top names in the field of behavioral science to help craft its winning message, and now the Obama White House is doing the same in crafting policy. Michael Grunwald of Time magazine has the story:
It's no coincidence that Obama's budget proposes an ambitious program of automatic-enrollment pensions for workplaces that don't offer 401(k)s or that his stimulus package has billions of dollars for smart meters. Behavioral science — especially the burgeoning field of behavioral economics that has been popularized by Freakonomics, The Wisdom of Crowds, Predictably Irrational, Nudge and Animal Spirits, which is the new must-read in Obamaworld — is already shaping dozens of Administration policies. "It really applies to all the big areas where we need change," says Obama budget director Peter Orszag.

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