Nudging and disadvantaged groups: insights from the Chilean experience

Underlying the concept of nudge are two core theoretical assumptions: that everyone is equally receptive to nudges and that nudges can promote autonomy and welfare. These theoretical assumptions have had significant implications for public policymaking. In the last ten years, the use of nudges as regulatory tools has gained increasing attention in a wide range of social policy fields, such as welfare benefits, healthcare, and environmental protection, etc. Chile has recently joined this trend, formulating and implementing several policies informed by behavioral insights. Examples include front-of-package warning signs, nutrition labels, water-saving campaigns, warning signs and pictures in cigarette packages, amongst others. The use of these self-regulation and soft-regulation tools, against the backdrop of widespread inequality and a heavily market-based approach to social policy issues, raises pressing questions of constitutional equality, non-discrimination, and group vulnerability.