Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Short and Lacks Focus: Cass Sunstein's "Simpler"



I don’t know what I really expected when I picked this book up.  I liked “Nudge” and I am a fan of most of the Behavioral Economics books that have been put out to popularize the subject in the recent past.  Since Sunstein recently served a time in the Obama administration, I was hoping for something like “Nudge: Practical Applications”.

 That’s not exactly what it is, but it starts striving towards that near the end.  The problem is that the book feels like it lacks focus.  The first part is more like a memoir of the time Sunstein was moving into the position and the difficulties with the office in particular and with the current congress in particular.  Once he starts to describe the inner workings, it gets more interesting, but it ends too soon.  What I really learned is that it must have been Thaler who gave “Nudge” its zing.  Simplier isn’t really a bad book, but it will soon be forgotten.