Nudges and norms: On the political economy of soft paternalism
AbstractThis paper discusses soft (or libertarian) paternalism, as proposed among others by Thaler and Sunstein (2008). It is argued that soft paternalism should not be understood as an efficiency-enhancing, but as a redistributive concept. The relationship between soft paternalism and social norms is discussed in detail. In particular, it is argued that soft paternalism increases the stability of given social norms, which in turn need not be efficient, nor in the material self-interest of a majority of individuals. Soft paternalism is argued to be an essentially conservative concept of policy-making in the sense that it tends to increase the longevity of status quo social norms.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Elsevier in its journal European Journal of Political Economy.
Volume (Year): 28 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505544
Libertarian paternalism; Soft paternalism; Social norms; Informal institutions; Behavioral political economics; Sour grapes; Expressive behavior;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
- D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis
- B52 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches - - - Institutional; Evolutionary
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