Display names of people giving up subsidy: Eco Survey

Why many affluent people have not given their subsidy? The Economic Survey 2018-19 has an answer -- “people have a strong tendency to go with the status quo”.

Therefore, it suggests displaying the names and photographs of people who give up subsidy as that can bolster the act of giving it up.

“Behavioural techniques can help achieve desirable outcomes from subsidy programmes and in turn reduce the effective costs of subsidy,” it said.

“For campaigns like “Give It Up”, the default choice matters immensely. People have a strong tendency to go with the status quo. The default option can be modified so that households above a certain income threshold have to opt-in to continue their subsidies with the default option being “opt out” of the subsidy,” it said adding it is critical to ensure that people find it extremely easy – through only a text message, a phone call or a few clicks – to opt-in to continue their subsidy.

Creating quick outlets such as a simple phone app or physical kiosks for exercising our general intentions of donating small amounts can build the overall social norm of being charitable, according to the survey.

It said increasing visibility of donors can encourage giving up of subsidies, especially for people who think and donate based on their alignment with the causes they choose to support. Highlighting the noble act of giving, in general, using respected leaders in the world, and not just giving up a subsidy could increase the visibility of a more deliberate approach to giving.

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