Nudges and norms: On the political economy of soft paternalism
This paper discusses soft (or libertarian) paternalism, as proposed among others by Thaler and Sunstein (2008). It is argued that soft paternalism should not be understood as an efficiency-enhancing, but as a redistributive concept. The relationship between soft paternalism and social norms is discussed in detail. In particular, it is argued that soft paternalism increases the stability of given social norms, which in turn need not be efficient, nor in the material self-interest of a majority of individuals. Soft paternalism is argued to be an essentially conservative concept of policy-making in the sense that it tends to increase the longevity of status quo social norms.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Traxler, Christian, 2010.
"Social norms and conditional cooperative taxpayers,"
European Journal of Political Economy,
Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 89-103, March.
- Traxler, Christian, 2006. "Social Norms and Conditional Cooperative Taxpayers," Discussion Papers in Economics 1202, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
- Schlenker, Wolfram & Villas-Boas, Sofia B, 2008.
"Consumer and Market Responses to Mad-Cow Disease,"
Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley, Working Paper Series
qt7995j7cm, Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley.
- Richard Thaler & Shlomo Benartzi, 2004. "Save more tomorrow: Using behavioral economics to increase employee saving," Natural Field Experiments 00337, The Field Experiments Website.
- Besley, Timothy, 1988. "A simple model for merit good arguments," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 371-383, April.
- Viscusi, W Kip, 1990. "Do Smokers Underestimate Risks?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(6), pages 1253-69, December.
- Pazner, Elisha A, 1972. "Merit Wants and the Theory of Taxation," Public Finance = Finances publiques, , vol. 27(4), pages 460-72.
- B. Douglas Bernheim & Antonio Rangel, 2004. "Addiction and Cue-Triggered Decision Processes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1558-1590, December.
- Brennan, Geoffrey & Hamlin, Alan, 1998.
" Expressive Voting and Electoral Equilibrium,"
Springer, vol. 95(1-2), pages 149-75, April.
- Cristina Bicchieri, 2010. "Norms, preferences, and conditional behavior," Politics, Philosophy & Economics, , vol. 9(3), pages 297-313, August.
- Jan Schnellenbach, 2004. "Model uncertainty and the rationality of economic policy," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 15(1), pages 101-116, January.
- Viscusi, W Kip, 1999. "The Governmental Composition of the Insurance Costs of Smoking," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 42(2), pages 575-609, October.
- Brennan, Geoffrey & Brooks, Michael, 2011. "On the ‘cashing out’ hypothesis and ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ policies," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 601-610.
- Berggren, Niclas & Jordahl, Henrik & Poutvaara, Panu, 2010.
"The looks of a winner: Beauty and electoral success,"
Munich Reprints in Economics
20267, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
- Berggren, Niclas & Jordahl, Henrik & Poutvaara, Panu, 2010. "The looks of a winner: Beauty and electoral success," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(1-2), pages 8-15, February.
- Kübler, Dorothea, 2000.
"On the regulation of social norms,"
SFB 373 Discussion Papers
2000,38, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
- Cass R. Sunstein & Richard H. Thaler, 2003. "Libertarian paternalism is not an oxymoron," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, vol. 48(Jun).
- Kaisa Kotakorpi, 2009. "Paternalism and Tax Competition," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 111(1), pages 125-149, 03.
- Brennan, Geoffrey & McGuire, Thomas, 1975. "Optimal policy choice under uncertainty," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 205-209, February.
- Hillman, Arye L, 1980. "Notions of Merit Want," Public Finance = Finances publiques, , vol. 35(2), pages 212-26.
- Caplan, Bryan, 2001. "Rational Ignorance versus Rational Irrationality," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(1), pages 3-26.
- W. Kip Viscusi & Jahn K Hakes, 2008. "Risk Beliefs And Smoking Behavior," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 46(1), pages 45-59, 01.
- W. Kip Viscusi & Joel Huber & Jason Bell, 2011. "Promoting Recycling: Private Values, Social Norms, and Economic Incentives," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(3), pages 65-70, May.
- Carbonara Emanuela & Parisi Francesco & von Wangenheim Georg, 2008. "Lawmakers as Norm Entrepreneurs," Review of Law & Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 4(3), pages 779-799, December.
- Jay Bhattacharya & Neeraj Sood, 2011. "Who Pays for Obesity?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 25(1), pages 139-58, Winter.
- George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics And Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753, August.
- Glaeser, Edward L., 2006. "Paternalism and Psychology," Working Paper Series rwp06-006, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
- Hillman, Arye L., 2010. "Expressive behavior in economics and politics," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 403-418, December.
- Ted O'Donoghue & Matthew Rabin, 2003. "Studying Optimal Paternalism, Illustrated by a Model of Sin Taxes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 186-191, May.
- Ernst Fehr & Urs Fischbacher, 2004. "Social norms and human cooperation," Macroeconomics 0409026, EconWPA.
- Aronsson, Thomas & Thunström, Linda, 2008. "A note on optimal paternalism and health capital subsidies," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 101(3), pages 241-242, December.
- Kirchgassner, Gebhard, 1992. "Towards a theory of low-cost decisions," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 305-320, May.
- Khwaja, Ahmed & Silverman, Dan & Sloan, Frank & Wang, Yang, 2009. "Are mature smokers misinformed?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 385-397, March.
- Richard H. Thaler & Cass R. Sunstein, 2003. "Libertarian Paternalism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 175-179, May.
- Akerlof, George A & Dickens, William T, 1982. "The Economic Consequences of Cognitive Dissonance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(3), pages 307-19, June.
- Richard H. Thaler & Shlomo Benartzi, 2004. "Save More Tomorrow (TM): Using Behavioral Economics to Increase Employee Saving," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(S1), pages S164-S187, February.
- Benartzi, Shlomo & Thaler, Richard H & Utkus, Stephen P & Sunstein, Cass R, 2007. "The Law and Economics of Company Stock in 401(k) Plans," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 50(1), pages 45-79, February.
- Robert Sugden, 2008. "Why incoherent preferences do not justify paternalism," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 19(3), pages 226-248, September.
- Paul Anand & Alastair Gray, 2009. "Obesity as Market Failure: Could a 'Deliberative Economy' Overcome the Problems of Paternalism?," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(2), pages 182-190, 04.
- Burrows, Paul, 1993. "Patronising Paternalism," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 45(4), pages 542-72, October.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:poleco:v:28:y:2012:i:2:p:266-277. 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: (Zhang, Lei)
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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.