not to be just a campaign gimmick. When they got in oice they said,“Let’s try to do something.”People in Downing Street call it the Nudge Unit, but the oicial termis the Behavioural Insight Team. A bunch o bright civil servants on theteam are going around trying to get agencies to think about how they incorporate this tool kit into the things they do. It’s hard to know whetherthis is early days o a new administration or people being polite to me.But I’ve been very pleasantly surprised with the openness—almost theeagerness—o people to talk to us. I’m sure that there are skeptics.But they are keeping that skepticism to themselves, at least initially.
What is the core message you try to deliver inthose meetings?
My number-one mantra rom
is, “Make it easy.” When I say make it easy, what I mean is, i you want to get somebody to dosomething, make it easy. I you want to get people toeat healthier oods, then put healthier oods in thecaeteria, and make them easier to ind, and makethem taste better. So in every meeting, I say, “Makeit easy.” It’s kind o obvious, but it’s also easy to miss.
Which of your ideas seem to be gaining the most ground?
Two things seem to have traction.One is building on the idea o changing deaults, which is an idea that had already caught on. A bigpension reorm that Adair Turner
took on hadautomatic enrollment built into it.The Nudge Unit has an advisory committee, andin the very irst meeting with the committee we said,“Let’s try to do something about organ donations.”The idea I’ve been pushing on or that is something Icall “prompted choice” that we use in Illinois, whereI live. When you get your driver’s license renewed,they ask, “Would you like to be an organ donor?” InIllinois, that doubled the number o people on theorgan donation list. So a decision has been made
Adair Turner, an alumnus o McKinsey, served in 2002 as chairmano the UK Pensions Commission. Currently, he is chairman o theFinancial Services Authority and the Committee on Climate Change.
is the Ralph andDorothy Keller DistinguishedService Professor of BehavioralScience and Economics at theUniversity of Chicago BoothSchool of Business and is theresearch associate and codirectorof the Behavioral EconomicsProject at the National Bureau ofEconomic Research.