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The New York Times: The I.R.S. Sent a Letter to 3.9 Million People. It Saved Some of Their Lives.

Article published: Dec 10, 2019

IB Economics syllabus: microeconomics (government intervention, nudge economics)

While this article is not suitable for an IB economics IA (partly because it’s too long, and partly due to the topic it covers), it is still a great one as it serves as real-life evidence of the usefulness of nudging (and the field of behavioral economics). In particular, it is about a research paper in which the authors (quite proudly) state that their “results provide the first experimental evidence that health insurance reduces mortality.” In short, it shows how sending letters to people (3.9 million of them) who lacked health insurance coverage can lead to increased coverage and more importantly, reduced mortality (that is, less people dying).

Source of image: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

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