If one option is better for rich and experienced people while another is better for vulnerable individuals, use smart defaults, which pre-select different options for different people to try to benefit all people.
When that is not possible, always choose the option that benefits vulnerable employees, because they are typically more likely to keep default options.
Another effective tool to reduce inequities and improve decisions is to eliminate options that are inferior to other options in every way, which are called dominated options.
Like other nudges, removing these options benefited people with low socioeconomic status most because they were less likely to have the knowledge needed to determine which options were most beneficial to them.
Employees often face overly complex decisions with too many options, paperwork burdens, or hard-to-understand terms. These burdens, sometimes called sludge, almost always harm vulnerable and low-SES people most.
In many cases, firms can reduce or remove these burdens, or at least provide tools to help their employees make good decisions.
Defaults can be used by firms and policymakers to make beneficial behaviors easier and more automatic. During the first wave of COVID-19, Amazon and other employers automatically sent free masks to all employees. These changes can be very beneficial, especially for the poor and vulnerable.
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