ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2019, Vol. 27 ›› Issue (3): 429-438.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2019.00429

• Special Section in Honor of the 2017 Nobel Laureate in Economics Richard H. Thaler • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Behavioral social policy: Nudge in the practice and exploration of public welfare

ZHANG Shuwei, LIANG Xinyi, YUE Jinglun()   

  1. School of Government, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China
  • Received:2018-04-03 Online:2019-03-15 Published:2019-01-22
  • Contact: YUE Jinglun E-mail:E-mail:


Behavioral social policy (BSP) is a kind of social policy that uses "nudge" as a tool, based on the characteristics of human behavior. It is the application of behavioral science in the field of social policy. According to people’s behavioral preferences, BSP pursues public welfare in a covert way without significantly changing their economic incentives. From the perspective of policy makers, the method of the voluntary and/or informational nudge can be divided into increase strategy, decrease strategy and adjustment strategy. These three strategies are used in areas such as re-hospitalization rate, children's health, community-based senior care, admission funding, employment, organ transplantation, and precision poverty alleviation to help people make better choices and improve public welfare. As an emerging method and technology, nudge is not always useful. Policy makers need to suit the remedy to the case, accurately identify, trade-off, and avoid “behavior bureaucrats”, in order to realize the modernization of national governance and maximization of social benefits.

Key words: behavioral science, social policy, nudge, increase strategy, decrease strategy, adjustment strategy

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