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Behavioral Public Economics: Welfare and Policy Analysis with Non-Standard Decision-Makers

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  • B. Douglas Bernheim

    (Department of Economics, Stanford University)

  • Antonio Rangel

    (Department of Economics, Stanford University)

Abstract

This paper has two goals. First, we discuss several emerging approaches to applied welfare analysis under non-standard (“behavioral”) assumptions concerning consumer choice. This provides a foundation for Behavioral Public Economics. Second, we illustrate applications of these approaches by surveying behavioral studies of policy problems involving saving, addiction, and public goods. We argue that the literature on behavioral public economics, though in its infancy, has already fundamentally changed our understanding of public policy in each of these domains.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research in its series Discussion Papers with number 04-033.

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Date of creation: Jun 2005
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Handle: RePEc:sip:dpaper:04-033

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Keywords: mistakes; decision making; behavioral economics; psychology and economics; neuroeconomics; public goods; addiction; savings; corrective policy; paternalism; welfare economics; revealed preference;

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