Nudging Along

One of the most important intellectual developments of the past several years that has had a huge impact on my own thinking has been the rise of behavioral economics. By taking the insights of psychology and observed human behavior into account, we now have a fuller picture of how people actually behave – instead of just reducing them to the hyper-rational utility-maximizers of Econ 101.

Cass Sunstein, while not an economist, has been at the forefront of this intellectual vanguard – most recently, with his acclaimed book Nudge, co-authored with Richard Thaler – and I am pleased to announce that the President today nominated Cass to be the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs here at OMB.

In this role, Cass will be able to shape a regulatory structure that is rooted in commonsense to achieve the values and ends that the President and the American people seek. For years, Cass has been that rare specimen – an academic whose writing and thinking has had a real effect on policymakers. Indeed, Cass is the most cited law professor on any faculty in the United States. Now, Cass is entering the arena, and I am eager to work with him to implement the President's regulatory reform agenda.

Here’s the full press release.

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