Week 6 Discussion- Louise Elliott

I’m working on a Writing question and need guidance to help me study.

Respond by Day 5 to two colleagues in the following way:

  • Explain what other incentives you might think of to make the nudge more effective and why you might use them.
  • $5 Post

Nudging has often been used to bring about compliance on a personal and socio-economic level. Mills (2013) has argued against different theorist like Goodwin that reject nudging, instead he perceives nudging as a valid role in tackling large-scale social problems in tandem with other traditional policy measures. When it comes to self-employed taxpayer’s, there are several programs that utilize the nudging effect to encourage them to file consistently and effortlessly.

McKinsey Quarterly (2011) mentions studies conducted by behavioral scientist Richard Thaler who created a policy making taxation program called the “Nudging Unit” this program enhances the public welfare by helping citizens make better choices and improves decision making, health, wealth, and happiness. The Nudging Unit Program brings a quintessential balance in communities. There are other ways that the Nudging program helps citizens as well as self-employed taxpayers. For instance, Thaler and Sunstein argue, through greater sensitivity to human tendencies such as “anchoring” on an initial value, using “mental accounting” to compartmentalize different categories of expenditures, and being biased toward the status quo (McKinsey Quarterly, 2011).

Lastly, nudging programs reduce procrastination. When businesses as well as taxpayers put off their responsibility of paying their bills, they can fall into debt as well as stress. Mills (2013) mentions that nudging may play a valid role in tackling large-scale social problems in tandem with other traditional policy measures. Nudging is a reminder and a push in the direction of accountability through compliance. For instance, in November 2006 in California, The Board of Equalization addressed the Revenue and Taxation Code Section 69.5; Propositions 60, 90 and 110, which covers almost every possible combination of events. The Franchise Tax Board, Board of Equalization and the Department of Employment Development has simplified the taxation process by making a single form that individuals can use for any of the tax agencies (Williams, 2006). Although there is a coercive style of taxation, it seems most states favor the nudging program to be effective.


McKinsey Quarterly. (Producer). (2011, June). Nudging the world toward smarter public policy: An interview with Richard Thaler [Audio podcast]. Retrieved from http://www.mckinsey.com/insights/public_sector/nudging_the_world_toward_smarter_public_policy_an_interview_with_richard_thaler

Mills, C. (2013). Why nudges matter: A reply to Goodwin. Politics, 33(1), 28–36.
Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

Williams, L. W. (2006). TaxTalk and Beyond. California CPA, 75(5), 36.


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