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Behavioral Economics: Are Nudges Cost-Effective?

News from UCLA Anderson School of Management 

“Behavioral science does not suffer from a lack of academic focus. A Google Scholar search for the term delivers more than three million results.

“While there is an abundance of research into how human nature can muck up our decision making process and the potential for well-placed nudges to help guide us to better outcomes, the field has kept rather mum on a basic question: Are behavioral nudges cost-effective?

“That’s an ever more salient question as the art of the nudge is increasingly being woven into public policy initiatives. In 2009, the Obama administration set up a nudge unit within the White House Office of Information and Technology, and a year later the U.K. government launched its own unit. Harvard’s Cass Sunstein, co-author of the book Nudge, headed the U.S. effort. His co-author, the University of Chicago’s Richard Thaler — who won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Economics — helped develop the U.K.’s Behavioral Insights office. Nudge units are now humming away in other countries, including Germany and Singapore, as well as at the World Bank, various United Nations agencies and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).”

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Disrupting Management

News from London Business School

“Disruption isn’t just about digital. The common theme at London Business School’s (LBS) HR Strategy Forum 2018 was that it’s time to reconsider the human side of work. Is your management fit for purpose? Are your people equipped to play their part in your organisation’s survival in a future where the ground moves even as you’re walking across it?

“Technology advances at its own furious pace, but our response should be less about getting technical experts to get on top of that and more about reconsidering what it is to work in a way that’s more adaptable, to look at what roles people may play in our organizations of the future.

“An HR director doesn’t have to be an A.I. expert but they certainly have a role in making sure their people are ready to leverage A.I. rather than be disenfranchised by it. We can be fairly optimistic as we look ahead to the time where machines are doing much of the manual work, freeing humans to do the work that adds the most value to customers, such as design, creative ventures and services.”

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Campaign Contributions Swayed By Neighbors’ Politics

News from UCLA Anderson

“If your neighbors can see your political participation, does that change how you participate in the political process?

“That’s the question behind a pair of large-scale studies from UCLA Anderson’s Ricardo Perez-Truglia, who explored how social influences affect political contributions and, by extension, other kinds of political involvement. This research shows that social pressure does matter and that it matters in decidedly partisan ways.

“Understanding political-social dynamics is especially important now, amid an increasingly partisan political system and the hyper polarizing candidacy and administration of Donald Trump. In the words of Harvard legal scholar Cass Sunstein, ‘partyism’ has become even more pronounced than racism in determining how people interact with one another.”

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When Fee-Pressured Audit Offices Focus On Non-Audit Services, Financial Statements Suffer, Study Shows

News from Notre Dame University Mendoza College of Business

“Firms hire auditors to create independent assessments of their financial statements, providing assurance to investors and outside parties that they are free from material misstatement.

“However — especially since the economic downturn — companies pressure auditors to lower their fees as a way to reduce costs. Auditors, in turn, place greater emphasis on more-profitable non-audit services, such as consulting, which can negatively impact audit quality, according to new research from the University of Notre Dame.

How do Audit Offices Respond to Audit Fee Pressure? Evidence of Increased Focus on Non-audit Services and their Impact on Audit Quality by Erik Beardsley, assistant professor of accountancy in Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business, along with Dennis Lassila of Texas A&M University and Thomas Omer from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, is forthcoming in Contemporary Accounting Research.”

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Left to right: Jennifer A. Herdt, Laurie Santos, Kimberly Goff-Crews, Shelly Kagan

At Yale Well Event, Professors Serve Up The Pursuit Of Happiness Three Ways

News from Yale School of Management 

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