The report was originally commissioned by the last Labour government which hasn’t stopped a few members of the current opposition expressing degrees of scepticism about the way in which this government has enthusiastically taken up its techniques. The soon to be spun-out Behavioural Insights Team, established by David Cameron under MINDSPACE author, and former IFG Research Director, David Halpern, has even managed to be described as ‘creepy’, ‘controversial’ and ‘sinister’. At the same time, it has attracted much overseas interest and has even inspired the establishment of a unit in the intellectual home of ‘nudge’ – the US. The White House launched its own team in late 2013 and the Unit was the subject of a recent fawning story in the New York Times – not normally a place to go for write-ups on machinery of government innovations in another country. So are people right to be concerned about the increasing interest of governments in applying behavioural insights to policy? Or has MINDSPACE changed the way we do policy for the better? Looking at some of the areas tackled by the Behavioural Insights Team so far in the UK it is hard to see what the problem is. Areas explored […]

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