Rebate Psychology – Understanding Taxpayer Behavior

Nicholas Epley, a professor of behavioral science at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, wrote a recent article in The New York Times about the recently passed tax rebate bill.

Basically, he says that calling the money taxpayers will receive as a “rebate” will encourage them to save the money. To stimulate the economy by encouraging people to spend the money, Epley suggests it be called a “bonus” rather than a “rebate.”

Interesting article on human behavior and the words we use to encourage consumer behavior.

Read the full article at The New York Times (no registration required)

One Response to Rebate Psychology – Understanding Taxpayer Behavior

  1. Dr. Pete says:

    Words are powerful things. Not too long ago, I finally got around to reading Lakoff’s “Don’t Think of an Elephant”, and it’s amazing how a few strategically placed words have changed the political landscape over the past 20 years.

    The problem (warning: mini-rant ahead) is that we’re not treating the economic stimulus as a stimulus so much as a magic vote-buying coupon. It’s alarming that, just by writing this blog post, you’ve probably put more thought into the subject than most of the people who approved of the billions of dollars they’re about to spend.

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