Social Pressure for a Green Good (and Perhaps Red, White, and Blue Too)

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2 Responses

  1. A.J. Sutter says:

    As for towels, were the signs used in the UCLA test true, or were they lying, for sake of the experiment? I, for one, might feel a bit defiant if I had reason to suspect that the sign was manipulative rather than veracious. I am very wary of this “nudge” fad, and am sad to see that some of its strongest proponents are political liberals (I’m talking about, say, Cass Sunstein, not you personally). The Thaler and Sunstein book, in particular, has at best very attenuated notions of democracy.

    The “I Voted!” sticker is another story, and here I agree with you. Here the message is more likely to be sincere, because you can get the sticker only if you do vote (or at least ask for and receive an absentee ballot). Of course, stickers didn’t help voter turnout crack 55% or so during the 1972-2004 presidential elections, or break 40% in any but one of the off-year Federal election cycles during that era. Nonetheless, I wore mine as I went through my day here in Tokyo. Japan both has high voter apathy and lacks anything like “I voted” stickers; they might really be a beneficial innovation here.

  2. Danielle Citron says:

    A.J., Thanks so much for your thoughtful comments. Danielle