Data for dissertations

36874 Eurobarometer 86.1: Parlemeter 2016, Future of Europe, Media Pluralism and Democracy http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR36874.v1

36952 Millennium Cohort Study http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR36952.v1

36107 Lone Wolf Terrorism in America: Using Knowledge of Radicalization Pathways to Forge Prevention Strategies, 1940-2013 http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR36107.v1

36639 Multi-site Family Study on Incarceration, Parenting and Partnering, 2008-2014 [5 States] http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR36639.v1

36650 Afrobarometer Round 6: The Quality of Democracy and Governance in Botswana, 2014 http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR36650.v1

36797 General Social Survey, 1972-2016 [Cumulative File] http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR36797.v1

36815 Newly Licensed Registered Nurse Survey, 2013 http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR36815.v1

36816 Newly Licensed Registered Nurse Survey, 2015 http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR36816.v1

36833 Community College Civic Outcomes Survey, Spring 2015 http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR36833.v1

36955 State of Michigan: Taking Action on Flint Water Test Results, 2015-2017 http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR36955.v1

More examples of nudges in the public sector

Here’s an interesting story about the UK’s Behavioural Insights Team. With some useful examples that might make for interesting classroom cases/exercises:

As an example, Moore pointed to a program in Lexington, Ky., where there were 7,000 overdue water bills that totaled about $4 million. A nudge in this situation meant sending a mailer alerting people to their delinquency. Some of them included handwritten notes addressing recipients by name. In less than a month, the campaign resulted in the reconciliation of $139,000 in unpaid bills.

Santiago Garces, chief innovation officer of South Bend, Ind., described BIT’s work in his city as “wizardry.” Using mapping, South Bend found that homeowners in low income areas were less likely to take advantage of mortgage-related tax exemptions they were entitled to. This is, in many ways, what behavioral influence looks like at its best: A hard data study upends a presumption (in this case, that lower income families would be most likely to pursue tax breaks) and city government subsequently works to nudge a behavioral change for the good of its residents.

Nudges aren’t limited to exerting public influence. Andres Lazo, director of citizen-centered design for Gainesville, Fla., said he was working to use the idea internally, a strategy Moore had seen deployed elsewhere to encourage employees to share efficiency ideas by offering incentives like recognition and prizes.

Data for dissertations November 6, 2017

36615 Los Angeles Metropolitan Area Surveys [LAMAS] 6, 1973
http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR36615.v1

36644 Afrobarometer Round 6: The Quality of Democracy and Governance in
Algeria, 2015
http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR36644.v1

36721 Afrobarometer Round 6: The Quality of Democracy and Governance in
Nigeria, 2014-2015
http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR36721.v1

36763 Afrobarometer Round 6: The Quality of Democracy and Governance in
Liberia, 2015
http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR36763.v1

36814 Newly Licensed Registered Nurse Survey, 2011
http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR36814.v1

36838 Afrobarometer Round 6: The Quality of Democracy and Governance in
Sudan, 2015
http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR36838.v1

36902 The National Survey of Fertility Barriers, 2010 [United States]
http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR36902.v1

36950 Chicago Health Aging and Social Relations Study: Attrition
http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR36950.v1

Data for dissertations November 2, 2017

36673 Eurobarometer 85.1 OVR: European Youth, April 2016 http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR36673.v1

36798 Monitoring the Future: A Continuing Study of American Youth (12th-Grade Survey), 2016 http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR36798.v1

36799 Monitoring the Future: A Continuing Study of American Youth (8th-and 10th-Grade Surveys), 2016 http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR36799.v1

36813 Newly Licensed Registered Nurse Survey, 2009 http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR36813.v1

36873 National Social Life, Health and Aging Project (NSHAP): Wave 3 http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR36873.v1

Data for dissertations October 17, 2017

36371 The Attack on America and Civil Liberties Trade-Offs: A Three-Wave National Panel Survey, 2001-2004 http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR36371.v1

36622 Johns Hopkins University Prevention Research Center – Risks for Transitions in Drug Use Among Urban Adults, Baltimore City, 2008-2011 http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR36622.v1

36652 Afrobarometer Round 6: The Quality of Democracy and Governance in Burkina Faso, 2015 http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR36652.v1

36662 Eurobarometer 82.2: Quality of Transport, Cyber Security, Value Added Tax, and Public Health, October 2014 http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR36662.v1

36666 Eurobarometer 83.2: Perception of Security, Civil Protection, and Humanitarian Aid, March 2015 http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR36666.v1

The speed of information and the instability of public affairs

In 2013, it was discovered that 90% of the world’s data were created in the previous two years. I can only imagine how much faster the speed of information is these days. 

Most decision makers, though, process information just as they did 20 or 50 years ago – on paper, in bite-sized pieces. Some might claim that current decision makers, at least in politics, are less capable now at processing complex, high-dimensional information. 

What’s the impact of this imbalance? It’s easy to speculate, but I think there’s an argument to be made that one key outcome will be instability. 

With the addition of new data, at speed, the existing volume of information increases along with the difficulty of comparability. The likelihood of multidimensionality increases. The aggregation (or dimensional reduction) problem gets harder. 

We can hope that machine learning and mining technologies, probably fueled by AI, will save us. But I’m skeptical. Instead, I think it’s likely that instability increases. And that the demand for low-dimensional “rules of thumb” increases. And that the probability of failure of those rules also increases – if only because high-speed data means the world is changing quickly. 

Maybe I’m wrong. Comments are closed but feel free to correct my thinking on Twitter at @abwhitford.