The Guardian

‘Behavioural economics’ may sound dry – but it can change your life | David Halpern

The work of economists such as Nobel prize winner Richard Thaler has profound implications for society. A nudge is sometimes all we need
‘In one school where healthier foods were put at eye level, more students chose carrot sticks over fries.’ Photograph: Chris Radburn/PA

Richard Thaler’s Nudge opens with a story about a school cafeteria in the US. Not for the first time, a headteacher was grappling with the question of how to encourage the kids to eat better.

Should the school ban sugary sweets altogether? Subsidise the salads? Eventually, the head found the answer was simple – just put the healthier foods at eye level, and watch as more students reach for carrot sticks over fries.

Sometimes a nudge – small, timely, and easy – may be

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Guardian

The Guardian3 min readPolitics
From Khat To Coffee: Revitalising An Age-old Yemeni Crop
In Haraz, farmers and exporters are bringing new life to a globally acclaimed and desired product
The Guardian3 min read
How Do We Prevent Suicide? We Must Start By Learning How To Talk To Young People About It | Suzanne Moore
Much of the coverage of Caroline Flack’s death has merely distanced us from the incredibly difficult reality. But we can do better
The Guardian14 min read
'I Get A Lot Of Love': How Hope Survives In The Hell Of Moria
The refugee camp is notorious for its overcrowding, fires and riots. But for the people who live there, life goes on – and every day brings new stories of resilience, bravery and compassion