In recent years, there has been a great deal of discussion of uses of behavioral economics in policy circles, with a focus on empirical, conceptual and ethical questions. On the basis of data from many nations, our forthcoming book asks and answers a question pressing in democratic and nondemocratic nations alike: What do citizens actually think about behaviorally informed policies? (Short answer: They approve of them.) In the process, the authors ask and answer two other questions as well: Do citizens of different nations have identifiable principles in mind when they approve or disapprove of behaviorally informed polices? (Short answer: Yes.) Do citizens of different nations agree with each other? (Short answer: Mostly yes, but with intriguing qualifications, involving diverging levels of trust and different evaluations of liberty.) This article previews our book, providing new insights into public approval of nudges and similar policies based on behavioral insights.
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