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Posts Tagged ‘behavioral economics’

We’re glad to see that John Tierney gets what we were saying about climate change and behavioral economics the other week.

In his ‘Findings’ piece this week, Tierney points out that:

“We’re not good at making immediate sacrifices for an abstract benefit in the future. And this weakness is compounded when, as with climate change, we have a hard time even understanding the problem or the impact of our actions today.”

He quotes the University of Chicago’s Richard Thaler, co-author of a new book “Nudge,” in  suggesting that people need help when it comes to actually acting on any desires they have to do something about climate change.

“Getting the prices right will not create the right behavior if people do not associate their behavior with the relevant costs,” says Dr. Thaler, a professor of behavioral science and economics. “When I turn the thermostat down on my A-C, I only vaguely know how much that costs me. If the thermostat were programmed to tell you immediately how much you are spending, the effect would be much more powerful.”

No word, though, where (or even if) we can buy ourselves such a device.

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