Shopping and nudging

social researcherEconomists and psychologists alike will tell you that, left to their own devices, people often make choices that are not in their own best interests. Healthcare and education both tend to be under-consumed if people have to buy them out of their own pocket, because the benefit isn’t always as immediately obvious as that of sitting in front of the TV stuffing your face with chocolate. That’s why economists developed the concept of ‘merit goods’: things like healthcare and education benefit not only the person who consumes them, but society as a whole, which benefits from a healthy and skilled workforce. So it’s in the government’s interest to ensure people are incentivised to consume these goods, often by making them cheap or free.

Should we let employees have unlimited holidays?

I receLouiseA_smallntly went to the MRS Travel and Tourism Conference, and the most interesting thing I learnt there didn’t actually have much to do with travel or tourism. Helen Rose of the 7Stars and Lesley Dusart of Exterion Media did a great presentation on debunking myths about the travel sector, in which they reported that 46% of us agreed that we get the right amount of annual leave. In other words, only half of us at most are angling to get more than our allowance.