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Who wants paternalism?

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Author Info

  • Sofie Kragh Pedersen
  • Alexander K. Koch

    ()

  • Julia Nafziger

    (Department of Economics and Business, Aarhus University, Denmark)

Abstract

Abstract Little is known about the demand side of paternalism. We investigate attitudes towards paternalism among Danish students. The main question is whether demand for paternalism is related to self-control, either because people with self-control problems seek commitment devices to overcome these problems, or because people with good self-control want those who lack it to change their behaviors. We find no evidence linking self-control to attitudes towards weak forms of paternalism (e.g. nudges or information about health consequences). But respondents with good selfcontrol are significantly more favorable towards strong paternalism (e.g. restricting choices or sin taxes) than those struggling with self-control.

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File URL: ftp://ftp.econ.au.dk/afn/wp/12/wp12_22.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus in its series Economics Working Papers with number 2012-22.

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Length: 27
Date of creation: 21 Sep 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:aah:aarhec:2012-22

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Web page: http://www.econ.au.dk/afn/

Related research

Keywords: Self-control; paternalism; commitment; political attitudes;

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  1. Burks, Stephen V. & Carpenter, Jeffrey P. & Götte, Lorenz & Rustichini, Aldo, 2008. "Cognitive Skills Explain Economic Preferences, Strategic Behavior, and Job Attachment," IZA Discussion Papers 3609, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Steffen Andersen & Glenn W. Harrison & Morten Lau & Elisabet E. Rutstroem, 2011. "Discounting Behavior: A Reconsideration," Working Papers 2011_01, Durham University Business School.
  3. John Ameriks & Andrew Caplin & John Leahy & Tom Tyler, 2007. "Measuring Self-Control Problems," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 966-972, June.
  4. Jason M. Fletcher & Partha Deb & Jody L. Sindelar, 2009. "Tobacco Use, Taxation and Self Control in Adolescence," NBER Working Papers 15130, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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