The research project ``Nudging - on how welcome libertarian paternalism is in Austria'' provides a novel approach to research on behavioral interventions and nudges used for policy-making, by experimentally investigating factors that drive citizens' and policy-makers' endorsements of such interventions in different domains of public policy.
The project has two main parts. The first part of this research project will make use of a large-scale survey experiment involving a nationally representative sample to collect data on people's willingness to be nudged across different policy domains. The project takes a broader approach to the endorsement and acceptance of nudges than the existing literature, by also controlling for individual preferences regarding government involvement given a specific policy issue. Thus, the project introduces a novel acceptability score that is able to account for individual specific needs for government action.
The second part of this research project, will examine policy-makers' willingness to nudge in an incentivized field experiment involving municipalities and their mayors across Austria. This will provide the first ever experiment to systematically examine the policy makers' willingness to act in a libertarian-paternalistic manner to promote citizens' best interest (as opposed to using classical `law and order' instruments such as taxes, bans and fines). The projects also examines a set of potential boundary conditions, for example, by studying how the willingness to nudge depends the characteristics of the citizen to be nudged, on previous evidence of the effectiveness of the nudge intervention somewhere else and the policy-maker's competence.
The research project ``Nudging - on how welcome libertarian paternalism is in Austria'' aims to achieve the following primary objectives:
- Use large-scale survey experiments involving a nationally representative sample of the population to collect unique data on how the endorsement of nudges varies across policy domains
- Provide novel insights into the nature of libertarian-paternalistic behavior, by examining policy-makers' willingness to nudge in an incentivized field experiment involving a sample of policy professionals.