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The Choice Architecture of Choice Architecture: Toward a Nonpaternalistic Nudge Policy

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  • David Colander

    ()

  • Andrew Qi Lin Chong

Abstract

This The goal of nudge policy is generally presented as assisting people in finding their “true” preferences. Supporters argue that nudge policies meet a libertarian paternalism criterion. This claim has provoked complaints that nudge policies are unacceptably paternalistic. This paper suggests that by changing the explicit goal of nudge policy to a goal of making the choice of choice mechanism an explicit decision variable of the subgroup being affected by the nudge one can have a non-paternalistic nudge policy that better fits with the values inherent in Classical liberalism. The goal of non-paternalistic nudge policy is not to achieve a better result as seen by government or by behavioral economists. The goal of non-paternalistic nudge policy is to achieve a better result as seen by the agents being nudged as revealed through their choices of choice mechanisms. Examples are given of how nonpaternalistic nudge policy will and will not differ from paternalistic nudge policy.

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File URL: http://www.middlebury.edu/services/econ/repec/mdl/ancoec/0916.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Middlebury College, Department of Economics in its series Middlebury College Working Paper Series with number 0916.

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Length: 10 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mdl:mdlpap:0916

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Related research

Keywords: libertarian; paternalism; nudge policy; choice architecture; behavioral economics;

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  1. John Beshears & James Choi & David Laibson & Brigitte Madrian, 2007. "How Are Preferences Revealed?," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000001760, UCLA Department of Economics.
  2. Cass R. Sunstein & Richard H. Thaler, 2003. "Libertarian paternalism is not an oxymoron," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, vol. 48(Jun).
  3. James J. Choi & David Laibson & Brigitte C. Madrian & Andrew Metrick, 2003. "Optimal Defaults," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 180-185, May.
  4. Richard H. Thaler & Cass R. Sunstein, 2003. "Libertarian Paternalism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 175-179, May.
  5. repec:reg:wpaper:320 is not listed on IDEAS
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Blog mentions

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  1. Nudge nudge, wink wink
    by Kevin Denny in Geary Behaviour Centre on 2009-10-25 09:18:00

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