Fall 11-26-2016

Document Type

Honors Project


Political Science

First Advisor

Dr. Miguel Glatzer


The purpose of this paper is to analyze the potential for the application of behavioral economics to the field of education policy through “nudges.” Given the difficulty of passing effective comprehensive education reform legislation, the application of nudges represents a low-cost, high-impact approaching to improve student outcomes. This paper offers definitions of several key concepts in the fields of behavioral economics and education: education reform, behavioral economics, choice architecture, nudges, and why behavioral economics is particularly relevant to education reform. Also, the paper describes past education reform attempts, including two that incorporated behavioral economics and two that did not, and evaluates their effectiveness. Finally, the paper offers nudge recommendations for students, parents, and teachers.