The scarcity trap captures this notion we see again and again in many domains. When people have very little, they undertake behaviors that maintain or reinforce their future disadvantage. If you have very little, you often behave in such a way so that youll have little in the future.
Eat better or work out more, and youll see the benefits weeks, months or years down the road. Sleep more, and youll see the benefits tomorrow.
Policymakers think that if they get the abstractions right, that will drive behavior in the desired direction. But the world happens in real time.
January is always a good month for behavioral economics: Few things illustrate self-control as vividly as New Year's resolutions. February is even better, though, because it lets us study why so many of those resolutions are broken.
The ability to save automatically is among the most powerful tools available to us.
Faced with a time shortage, we squeeze tasks into the nooks and crannies of our calendar, leaving less and less time to switch between them. As a result, we become less and less productive exactly when we need to be most productive.
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