The media continually reports about the failure to provide help. For example, the failure to provide help in the case of a deceased pensioner in an Essen bank. The phenomenon can be seen in almost every country and happens in very different situations, for example mobbing, racism, accidents and attacks, where many people do not intervene and help even though they could. In addition to the personal suffering of the victim, failure to assist has social consequences for society as it reduces macroeconomic welfare. ‘Nudges’ could be a way of increasing the willingness to help. A nudge is a method that influences the behaviour of people without having to resort to bans or laws or having to change social incentives. Nudges are becoming a more popular way of influencing people’s behaviour as new laws or regulations do not have to be issued as policy. Nudges could help to overcome individual blocks such as fear or uncertainty concerning responsibility, thus increasing the level of social welfare.
Most German citizens consume meat regularly, commonly because they like the taste or associate it with additional benefits. Thus, the decision between the consumption of meat or other food sources is mainly based on preferences. This ignores many factors that are apparently connected with this decision. It is known, for instance, that livestock farming is related to high water consumption as well as significant emissions of greenhouse gas. Additionally, excessive meat consumption entails health risks and is detrimental to animal welfare. Taken together, all of these factors suggest that meat consumption imposes substantial costs that may render it highly inefficient for society at large. The measurement of the societal and private dimension of this inefficiency, as well as the development and evaluation of possible solutions, are fields of applied economics and is the subject of this YES-Challenge.