IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/beh/jbepv1/v1y2017i1p11-14.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Requiring choice is a form of paternalism

Author

Listed:
  • Cass R. Sunstein

    () (Harvard Law School)

Abstract

Many people insist on drawing a line between active choosing and paternalism, but that line is often illusory. Whenever private or public institutions override people's desire not to choose, and insist on active choosing, they are likely to be behaving paternalistically, through a kind of choice-requiring paternalism. Active choosing can be seen as a form of libertarian paternalism if people are permitted to opt out of choosing in favor of a default (and in that sense not to choose). This is a distinctive approach -"simplified active choosing"- and in many contexts, it has considerable appeal. By contrast, active choosing is a form of nonlibertarian paternalism insofar as people are required to choose. These points have implications for a range of issues in law and policy, suggesting that those who favor active choosing, or insist on it, may well be overriding people's preferences (for better or for worse).

Suggested Citation

  • Cass R. Sunstein, 2017. "Requiring choice is a form of paternalism," Journal of Behavioral Economics for Policy, Society for the Advancement of Behavioral Economics (SABE), vol. 1(1), pages 11-14, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:beh:jbepv1:v:1:y:2017:i:1:p:11-14
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://sabeconomics.org/journal/RePEc/beh/JBEPv1/articles/JBEP-1-1-2-F.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Cass R. Sunstein & Richard H. Thaler, 2003. "Libertarian paternalism is not an oxymoron," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, vol. 48(Jun).
    2. Richard H. Thaler & Cass R. Sunstein, 2003. "Libertarian Paternalism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 175-179, May.
    3. B. Douglas Bernheim & Antonio Rangel, 2009. "Beyond Revealed Preference: Choice-Theoretic Foundations for Behavioral Welfare Economics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(1), pages 51-104.
    4. Schnellenbach, Jan & Schubert, Christian, 2014. "Behavioral public choice: A survey," Freiburg Discussion Papers on Constitutional Economics 14/03, Walter Eucken Institut e.V..
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. repec:beh:jbepv1:v:1:y:2017:i:s:p:41-48 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    nudge; paternalism; freedom of choice; choice architecture;

    JEL classification:

    • C9 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments
    • D0 - Microeconomics - - General
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • K30 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - General

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:beh:jbepv1:v:1:y:2017:i:1:p:11-14. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (SABE). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/sabeeea.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.