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Predicting adoption of nudges in U.S. cities (Public)

Project Bottlenecks in policy experiments
Study ID sspp-2022-0009-v1
Study Title Predicting adoption of nudges in U.S. cities
Authors Stefano DellaVigna, Woojin Kim, Elizabeth Linos
Completion Time 10 Minutes
Close Date March 31, 2022
Discipline Economics, Psychology
Field Behavioral Economics
Country United States
In DellaVigna and Linos (2021, ECTA), we obtained a comprehensive sample of all the Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs) run by two large nudge units working with U.S. federal departments and cities from 2015-19. We found that the average nudge led to a statistically significant improvement of 1.4 percentage points (s.e.=0.3) in absolute take-up of the targeted outcome, or an 8.0% relative increase. This prior work did not keep track of how cities used the evidence from the RCTs after running the trials. How many of the nudges tested in the trials became adopted into government practice by these cities? And what predicts adoption? To answer these questions, we contacted all the U.S. cities that collaborated with the Behavioral Insights Team (BIT), which is one of the nudge units from the paper. This survey collects forecasts about the adoption of nudges by U.S. cities after conducting RCTs with the Behavioral Insights Team.

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