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To what extent have the policy recommendations of the Behavioural Insights Team been in accordance with nudge theory

Ryan, J.D. (2017) To what extent have the policy recommendations of the Behavioural Insights Team been in accordance with nudge theory.

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Abstract:The Behavioural Insights Team (BIT) was explicitly founded on the basis of nudge theory and was closely linked to it from the beginning. However, nudge theory has not contributed much to either the BIT’s policies or governance in England and Wales. One explanation is that nudge theory is a limited policy tool, as critics claimed, but this has to be tempered with awareness of administrative explanations for disapplication. The ways in which nudge theory was disapplied are the subject of this paper. Nudge theory is defined, followed by a description of work of the BIT, before a comparison of the two. The first finding is that the BIT seems to have exhausted its policy ideas, implying that nudge theory and behavioural science is limited in policy applications. The second is that the disapplication of nudge theory reflects, in part, nudge theory’s lack of coherence and definition. Implied in this is the suggestion that the strict moral criteria of nudge theory leaves relatively few nudges that can be made, and that there is a trade-off between effectiveness.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:88 social and public administration
Programme:Public Administration MSc (60020)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/72273
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