Nudgelords

9 Feb, 2021 at 08:49 | Posted in Economics | Leave a comment

What’s my problem with the nudgelords? Aren’t they a force for good in the world?

Image result for nudge sunstein memeMy answer is that I’m not sure. The problem is that good advice is good, and bad advice is bad, but Sunstein and his friends doesn’t seem to distinguish between them. They seem to be spewing out research or claims about research or claims about behavior based on what they already want to believe, without regard to the quality of evidence. And they rarely seem to go back and assess what went wrong.

And, when people express skepticism about their claims, these critics are labeled as “Stasi.” I don’t trust someone who wants to get the government to nudge us, when he has a track record of (a) hyping shaky claims, and (b) ignoring, dismissing, or going on the attack against serious criticism. So I’m suspicious, despite that the Milton Friedman Distinguished Service Professor of Economics tells us, “This is wisdom that should be acted on.”

P.S. Bonus Sunstein quote:

“I have noted that when confident people are shown to be wrong, people tend to stop believing what they say.”

All right, then.

Andrew Gelman

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