Inside the Nudge Unit

Inside the Nudge Unit

How small changes can make a big difference

David Halpern

But in the real world of things, of people and of bureaucracy, friction matters a great deal. Just as a real weight pushed across a real table will soon grind to a halt as a result of friction, a human impulse to do something soon grinds to a halt when it becomes a hassle. Hence John, the character at the start of this chapter, really did mean to start saving, and to get that ‘money on the table’. He just didn’t get around to it because it was an effort, involved tedious paperwork and was less attractive and urgent than all the other things he could be doing in the next hour or day. Frictional costs are not a peripheral issue. Rather, they often make all the difference between something happening or not, be it a stone rolling down a slope, or a policy succeeding or failing.

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