Nudging

Project funding for Elisabeth Gsottbauer and Axel Sonntag by the OeNB

The Anniversary Fund of the OeNB supports financially the project "Do Austrians Approve of Nudging as Policy Tool - Experimental Evidence" submitted by Elisabeth Gsottbauer and Axel Sonntag (IHS).

The use of behavioural economic measures such as 'nudges' is on the rise worldwide. Nudges are soft interventions designed to influence people’s decisions. Many countries already have so-called 'Nudge Units’, which support governments in applying the principles of behavioural economics to specific policy issues: Proponents speak of effective and efficient policies, while critics cite targeted manipulation of citizens. Now that more and more behavioural economic considerations are being incorporated into the design of policy measures in Austria, this research project examines the acceptance of nudges in various policy areas.

In extension of current international research in this area, the research project uses an experimental approach that allows the type of nudges and transparent communication about them to be examined separately from the policy field. Moreover, this is the first study that is not limited to the analysis of the acceptance of nudges by citizens (‘willingness to be nudged’), but also examines the attitude of politicians towards the introduction of nudges (‘willingness to nudge’).

 

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