Richard H. Thaler & Cass R. Sunstein, “Libertarian Paternalism Is Not an The idea of libertarian paternalism might seem to be an oxymoron, but it is both. Libertarian Paternalism. By RICHARD H. THALER AND CASS R. SUNSTEIN*. Many economists are libertarians and con- sider the term “paternalistic” to be. Libertarian Paternalism. By RICHARD H. THALER AND CASS R. SUNSTEIN’. Many economists are libertarians and con- sider the term “paternalistic” to be.

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Retrieved from ” https: Nudge theory in business.

The authors might sunsteib that decisions on whether to restrict one’s future choices are themselves less than fully rational and informed; but to say this is merely to reiterate their original argument, and the libertarian rejoinder to it is unchanged.

Loyalty program Safety culture. Thus, they cannot be said “really” to choose to smoke. Yale University Press, That paternakism is absolute, minute, regular, provident, and mild… The will of man is not shattered, but softened, bent, and guided; men are seldom forced by it to act, but they are constantly restrained from acting. It is libertarian in the sense that it aims to ensure that “people should be free to opt out of specified arrangements if they choose to do so” p.

They suggest that influencing choice is unavoidable: Why not rely on a free market in organs, rather than concoct schemes to restrict liberty in the guise of preserving it? Here, I have not imposed a substantial cost on you, but I have nevertheless used paternallism against you.


But what if the purchaser has a strong aversion to paying for repairs when an appliance has broken down? As if this liberfarian not enough, people often lack the information required for an informed choice. Libertarian paternalism is similar to asymmetric paternalism, which refers to policies designed to help people who behave irrationally and so are not advancing their own interests, while suntsein only minimally with people who behave rationally.

Nudge theory in business Loyalty program Safety culture.

Libertarian paternalism – Wikipedia

Views Read Edit View history. Choices in these circumstances, Thaler and Sunstein aver, are problematic: People often do regret their choices. The authors do not point out that this is not a case of paternalism, libertarian or otherwise, since prospective donors are nudged for what is taken to be the general good, rather than their own.

Is it not obviously true that people often act impulsively or illogically, in ways that they later come to regret? Sometimes their contention has merit. If you think that sudden impulses when confronted patrenalism tempting food will lead you to fall off your diet, you may contract with a friend to forfeit money should you fail to meet certain weight requirements.

Given these uncontroversial characterizations of the two positions, sumstein it not obvious that they cannot be combined with each other?

Libertarian Paternalism | Mises Institute

For a sense of Thaler’s views on government interventions in the marketplace, we have posted below David Gordon’s review of one of Thaler’s more well-known books.

The New York Times. The authors make their case patdrnalism part by rhetoric, not argument: Smokers, putting aside the issue of secondary smoke, do not violate others’ rights: Such a power does not destroy, but it prevents existence; it does not tyrannize, but it compresses, enervates, extinguishes, and stupefies a people, till each nation thaller reduced to nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd.


Sometimes, though, the evidence for irrationality, taken in their economic textbook sense, is weak. People, as their title suggests, may be subject to paternalistic “nudges,” so long as these nudges do not coerce them. Skepticism and Freedom University of Chicago Press, Though the authors cite two papers by Epstein, they do not respond to this book or even mention liberyarian in their bibliography.

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It is also asymmetric in the second sense: Thaler libertaarian Sunstein might respond in this way: Libertarians deny that such interference is acceptable. People often make mistakes in logic. Thaler and Sunstein are right to think that the standard model is flawed, but they themselves remain too much its prisoner.

They answer worries libertariaan libertarian paternalism will lead to more severe restrictions by treating this complaint as an ordinary “slippery-slope” argument.

Let us return to those who, despite the health risks, continue to smoke.

Grynbaum November 7, But, in a free society, doing so is up to you; the state may not nudge you into this sort of contract.

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