How Government Can Nurture the Nudge

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How Government Can Nurture the Nudge

By Stephen Goldsmith

In implementing behaviorally informed interventions known as “nudges” to improve program outcomes, the city of Louisville has followed an important precept: You have to learn to walk before you can run. Kentucky’s largest city is one of many jurisdictions and agencies that have been experimenting with nudges, approaches derived from behavioral science that encourage preferable behaviors by manipulating individuals’ “choice architectures” — the social, psychological and physical contexts in which they make decisions. Louisville has taken incremental steps to integrate nudging into its larger data-driven portfolio, building upon smaller, common sense initiatives. Mayor Greg Fischer has demonstrated a consistent commitment to implementing data-driven tools that improve Louisville’s responsiveness and efficiency. The city recently partnered with Bloomberg Philanthropies’ What Works Cities initiative, which helps cities across the U.S. use data and evidence to improve policy and program outcomes through technical assistance from expert organizations. Keep reading >>

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