NUDGE, SHOVE, BUDGE, SLUDGE AND ADMINISTRATIVE BURDEN: Terminological Demarcation and Practical Implications

Aleksandar S Mojašević, Ljubica Nikolić

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In this paper, the authors provide a precise terminological demarcation of the following behavioral concepts: “nudge”, “shove”, and “budge”. Based on these concepts and three defined criteria (freedom/coercion, internalities/externalities, and behavioral insights), the authors explain various behavioral public policies and their practical implications: 1) the behavioral public policy of libertarian-paternalistic orientation (the “nudge policy”); 2) the policy of coercive paternalism; and 3) the behavioral regulation of externalities. Then, the authors provide a terminological distinction between the concept of “sludge” and “nudge”, and discuss their potential misuses. Finally, based on the level of “frictions”, the authors distinguish between the concepts of “administrative burden” and “sludge”, as well as the types of public policies that are recommended for their reduction, particularly “sludge audits”. The conclusion is that all these public policies are very close, slightly different in terms of the subject matter of regulation and the intensity of encroachment on the freedoms of individuals, but that they all have a common root in behavioral insights.


Behavioral Economics, nudge, shove, budge, sludge, administrative burden, behavioral public policies

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