Interesting article about the Cameron government’s use of Thaler tricks to improve government servies and save money:

Take the job centre in Loughton, where he describes – step by step – the minutiae of how his team has encouraged advisers to be forward-looking, specific and to give their clients a sense of progress; all of which, studies have shown, have a big impact on people reaching their goals, he says.

“So instead of jobseekers having to show they’ve looked for at least three jobs in the last two weeks, advisers will now say, ‘OK, let’s talk about what you are going to do in the next two weeks’. They will ask what their client needs to work on. ‘So, you said you needed to work on your CV. So when will you do that. OK, Wednesday morning after breakfast.’ The client is then encouraged to write it down in a little booklet they get. And all the things you need to do before you get your job have been compressed on to one side of paper and designed in such a way that when you go through it with the adviser, you’ve done a third of it straight away. That in itself gives you a strong, immediate sense of progress.”

The results speak for themselves. On the top floor of the job centre where it was trialled for three months, about a fifth more jobseekers were off their books in 13 weeks compared with the floor below where processes remained unchanged.

I still need a nudge to buy the book though.