People make just as many mistakes when the stakes go up, maybe more.
Whenever I'm asked to autograph a copy of 'Nudge,' the book I wrote with Cass Sunstein, the Harvard law professor, I sign it, 'Nudge for good.' Unfortunately, that is meant as a plea, not an expectation.
Many problems are so complex that even if we had the money to fix them, we wouldn't know how to do it. Fixing inner-city schools, reducing obesity, creating peace in the Middle East are just a few examples.
In some ways, the finding that financial education doesn't provide long-term payoffs is hardly surprising. After all, how much do you remember from your high school chemistry class? Unless you use chemistry at work, you probably don't recall much about ionic bonding.
I try to teach people to make fewer mistakes. But in designing economic policies, we need to take full account of the fact that people are busy, they're absent minded, they're lazy, and that we should try to make things as easy for them as possible.