1 February 2019

Free Exchange: Cass Sunstein on nudges and freedom


This week’s guest on Free Exchange is the co-author of one of the most consequential books written in recent years. Cass Sunstein is a professor at Harvard Law School and one of America’s most prolific and prominent academics. Nudge, which Sunstein wrote with the economist Richard Thaler just over a decade ago, applied the insights of behavioural economics to policymaking.

Its publication was the start of a quiet revolution in government, with the creation of so-called ‘nudge units’ that have found ways of boosting pension saving, reducing energy consumption and catching cancer earlier with small changes that make it as easy as possible for people to make the right choices.

I spoke to Cass about nudges, his time putting theory into practice in the Obama administration, and his new book, On Freedom, in which he argues that we need to rethink freedom of choice.

You can listen to the full episode here, subscribe via iTunes or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Oliver Wiseman is Editor of CapX.