Public information campaigns are a complex, delicate undertaking. Getting them right is crucial, as undoing the damage of misinformation is very difficult: once perceptions have been formed, it’s very hard to modify behavior. And when it comes to vaccination —an issue that has sparked controversy over the years and became news again this week— the repercussions of poor … [Read more...] about Public Information on Vaccines Can Be a Matter of Life and Death
Would you save more if 10% of your paycheck was automatically deposited into a separate account in your name? Would you feel more obliged to pay your taxes if you knew all the neighbors on your block had paid them? And would you use the hand dryer instead of a paper towel in a public bathroom if a notice reminded you of the environmental impact of cutting down trees? The … [Read more...] about Behavioral Economics for Better Public Policies
Sooner or later all teenagers consider who they want to be when they grow up. It is a defining moment for their sense of self and future, and intimately linked with their ability to seize what they want from life. Will I be a cabdriver or carpenter? Clerk or cashier? Or can I just as easily be an accountant, architect or engineer? For middle class and wealthy children, these … [Read more...] about Better Tools for Poor Kids Choosing Schools
In recent weeks, the issue of tax avoidance has surged into the United States presidential election. It gained momentum Sept. 26 during the first presidential debate when Republican candidate Donald Trump said that not paying federal income taxes made him “smart.” It moved to the forefront Oct. 1 with the revelation by the New York Times that Trump had declared a $916 million … [Read more...] about Is Being ‘Smart’ About Taxes Contagious?
Over the last year, newspapers and television stations in the Americas have reported hundreds of stories about the Zika epidemic. The media is flooded with news accounts of people suffering from temporary paralysis, infants with brain damage, and the fears the virus has unleashed, especially among pregnant women. Yet despite these accounts—and thousands of warnings by … [Read more...] about Fighting Zika: The Need for Sustained But Flexible Messaging