In behavioral economics, inertia is the endurance of a stable state associated with inaction and the concept of status quo bias (Madrian & Shea 2001). Behavioral nudges can either work with people’s decision inertia (e.g. by setting defaults) or against it (e.g. by giving warnings)(Jung, 2019). In social psychology, the term inertia is sometimes also used in relation to a persistence in (or commitments to) attitudes and relationships.


Jung. D. (2019, March 19). Nudge action: Overcoming decision inertia in financial planning tools. Retrieved from

Madrian, B., & Shea, D. (2001). The power of suggestion: Inertia in 401(k) participation and savings behavior. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 116, 1149-1187.