Tracing consequences both seen and unseen.
Christine HarbinHow the Private Sector Can Influence Good Behavior
Posted at 9:04 am on April 9, 2010, by Christine Harbin

Earlier this week, the Wall Street Journal published an article that explained how NBC Universal is using its television programming to send a subtle message to viewers to improve their lifestyle. From the article:

The tactic—General Electric Co.’s NBC Universal calls it “behavior placement”—is designed to sway viewers to adopt actions they see modeled in their favorite shows. And it helps sell ads to marketers who want to associate their brands with a feel-good, socially aware show.

This illustrates how the private sector can address problems like global warming and encourage healthy behavior simply by setting a good example–not by legislating or by nudging via choice architecture.

Since NBC’s effort encourages other companies to adopt and be affiliated with corporate social responsibility, I would not be surprised if this had a larger “behavioral” multiplier than the public sector’s efforts.

[Cross-posted at Amateur Philosophy.]


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2 Comments »

  1. Easy there christine manbearpig (gw) isn’t really worth mentioning unless you want americans to freak over a nonexistent problem

    Comment by chase — April 14, 2010 @ 2:28 pm

  2. […] gives its customers a 10 cent discount if they use a reusable travel mug. This is another example of how the private sector can encourage certain behaviors without direction from the government, such as environmental […]

    Pingback by The Lesson Applied » Another Way the Private Sector Can Influence Behavior — April 16, 2010 @ 7:30 pm

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Henry Hazlitt"[T]he whole of economics can be reduced to a single lesson, and that lesson can be reduced to a single sentence. The art of economics consists in looking not merely at the immediate but at the longer effects of any act or policy; it consists in tracing the consequences of that policy not merely for one group but for all groups."
Henry Hazlitt, Economics in One Lesson
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