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Autonomy-Enhancing Paternalism

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  • Martin Binder
  • Leonhard K. Lades

Abstract

type="main"> We present a form of soft paternalism called “autonomy-enhancing paternalism” that seeks to increase individual well-being by facilitating the individual ability to make critically reflected, autonomous decisions. The focus of autonomy-enhancing paternalism is on helping individuals to become better decision-makers, rather than on helping them by making better decisions for them. Autonomy-enhancing paternalism acknowledges that behavioral interventions can change the strength of decision-making anomalies over time, and favors those interventions that improve, rather than reduce, individuals' ability to make good and unbiased decisions. By this it prevents manipulation of the individual by the soft paternalist, accounts for the heterogeneity of individuals, and counteracts slippery slope arguments by decreasing the probability of future paternalistic interventions. Moreover, autonomy-enhancing paternalism can be defended based on both liberal values and welfare considerations.

Suggested Citation

  • Martin Binder & Leonhard K. Lades, 2015. "Autonomy-Enhancing Paternalism," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(1), pages 3-27, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:kyklos:v:68:y:2015:i:1:p:3-27
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/kykl.12071
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Autonomy-enhancing Paternalism
      by Alessandro Cerboni in Knowledge Team on 2014-05-27 01:06:08
    2. Why Nudge? by Cass Sunstein
      by Leonhard Lades in Economics, Psychology and Policy on 2014-05-02 15:17:00

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Martin Binder, 2019. "Soft paternalism and subjective well-being: how happiness research could help the paternalist improve individuals’ well-being," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 29(2), pages 539-561, April.
    2. Babutsidze, Zakaria & Chai, Andreas, 2018. "Look at me Saving the Planet! The Imitation of Visible Green Behavior and its Impact on the Climate Value-Action Gap," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 146(C), pages 290-303.
    3. Dirk Nicolas Wagner, 2019. "The Opportunistic Principal," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 72(4), pages 637-657, November.
    4. Jan Schnellenbach, 2016. "A Constitutional Economics Perspective on Soft Paternalism," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 69(1), pages 135-156, February.
    5. Martin Binder, 2014. "A constitutional paradigm is not enough—would sovereign citizens really agree to manipulative nudges?—A reply to Christian Schubert," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 24(5), pages 1115-1120, November.
    6. Witt, Ulrich, 2021. "Does sustainability-promoting policy making reduce our welfare?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 188(C).
    7. Leonhard K. Lades & Wilhelm Hofmann, 2019. "Temptation, self-control, and inter-temporal choice," Journal of Bioeconomics, Springer, vol. 21(1), pages 47-70, April.
    8. Christian Schubert, 2014. "Evolutionary economics and the case for a constitutional libertarian paternalism—a comment on Martin Binder, “should evolutionary economists embrace libertarian paternalism?”," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 24(5), pages 1107-1113, November.
    9. Pasche, Markus, 2014. "Soft Paternalism and Nudging - Critique of the Behavioral Foundations," MPRA Paper 61140, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Christian Schubert, 2015. "On the ethics of public nudging: Autonomy and Agency," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201533, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • B52 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches - - - Historical; Institutional; Evolutionary; Modern Monetary Theory;
    • D18 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Protection
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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