JUNE 2017
The Healthy Nudge
Welcome to The Healthy Nudge. Each month, we'll get you up to speed on the latest developments in policy-relevant health behavioral economics research at CHIBE. Want more frequent updates? Follow us on Twitter @PennCHIBE and visit our new website.
Could Solving this One Problem Solve all the Others?

Faculty members Angela Duckworth, PhD, MA, MSc and Katherine Milkman, PhD joined Freakonomics Radio to talk about their upcoming research project focused on making behavior change stick.

CHIBE Joins ideas42 and Innovations for Poverty Action to Launch Behavioral Evidence Hub 
Collaboration is required to bridge the gap between promising academic research in the behavioral sciences and large-scale deployment of behaviorally-informed policies and programs. The goal of the newly-launched B-hub is to bring behavioral insights, like CHIBE's research on active choice for auto-refill prescriptions, directly to practitioners and policymakers for maximum impact. 

Blog Spotlight
Work-in-Progress Seminar :
Adi Gundlapalli, MD, PhD, MS
Associate Professor of Internal Medicine, University of Utah School of Medicine & University of Utah Hospitals and Clinics
06/22 @ 12 PM
1104 Blockley Hall

In The News

 CHIBE Profile
Dr. Leslie John is a CHIBE affiliated faculty member and an Associate Professor of Business Administration in the Negotiations, Organizations, and Markets unit at Harvard Business School. Dr. John's research focuses on marketing, public policy, and consumer health and privacy.

What initially drew you to behavioral economics research?

In a way you could say my interest in this area stems from my childhood. Going on family ski trips, we would typically buy a day pass for a set price, and you could ski however long you wanted. It’s a sunk cost. But my mother would “make us” ski until we got the average price of a run down to two dollars. For my mom, it was so motivating to make good on that sunk cost. People’s desire and need to think about things in ways that an economist would not is fascinating to me.

Regarding your research on nudging consumers away from sugary drinks, what are some findings that you’ve found most fascinating?

In a recent field study with Grant Donnelly, Laura Zatz and Dan Svirsky, we found that graphic warning labels decrease purchasing of sugary drinks. We were encouraged by this result, but also skeptical as to whether consumers would actually accept graphic warning labels. So we ran a follow-up, nationally-representative survey, asking people whether they would approve of having these labels on their drinks. The twist was that for half of the people, we told them that the graphic warning labels were effective in reducing purchasing of sugary drinks. It was only when we told people that the labels were effective that they became more accepting of them. The way you provide information can really increase its capacity to change behavior for the better. 

How would you encourage restaurants to implement the results of your research on bundling sugary drinks?  

I don't think that encouraging restaurants to serve bundles would be my first suggestion to firms. I think what could be fruitful - in the sense that it could curb consumption of sugary drinks without necessarily adversely impacting the bottom line - is to encourage firms that offer free refills to introduce a little bit of friction when consumers obtain the refill. As we saw in our experiments, even requiring people to walk a mere 10 steps to obtain a refill (as opposed to having it served to them), can curb consumption. Another way of introducing friction might be to add a little delay, for example, by making a healthy refill available immediately and unhealthy refills after a short (but not inconvenient) amount of time.

Recent Publications
    The Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics (CHIBE) at the University of Pennsylvania conducts behavioral economics research aimed at reducing the disease burden from major U.S. public health problems. Originally founded within the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, our mission is to inform health policy, improve healthcare delivery and increase healthy behavior.
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