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Behavioral Decisions and Policy

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  • Patricio S. Dalton
  • Sayantan Ghosal

Abstract

We study the public policy implications of a model in which agents do not fully internalize all the conscequences of their actions. Such a model unifies seemingly disconected models with behavioral agents. We evaluate the scope of paternalistic and libertarian-parternalistic policies in light of our model, and propose an alternative policy approach, labeled soft-libertarian, which enables decision makers to internalize the conscequences of their actions. Psychotherapy is one example of a soft-libertarian policy. Moreover, we show that in our behavioral framework, policies that increase the set of opportunities or provide more information to the agent may no longer be individual welfare improving. (JEL codes: D03, D04, D60, I38) Copyright The Author 2011. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Ifo Institute for Economic Research, Munich. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Patricio S. Dalton & Sayantan Ghosal, 2011. "Behavioral Decisions and Policy," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 57(4), pages 560-580, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:cesifo:v:57:y:2011:i:4:p:560-580
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Schnellenbach, Jan & Schubert, Christian, 2015. "Behavioral political economy: A survey," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 40(PB), pages 395-417.
    2. Schnellenbach, Jan & Schubert, Christian, 2014. "Behavioral public choice: A survey," Freiburg Discussion Papers on Constitutional Economics 14/03, Walter Eucken Institut e.V..
    3. van den Bijgaart, Inge, 2016. "Essays in environmental economics and policy," Other publications TiSEM 298bee2a-cb08-4173-9fe1-8, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    4. van den Bijgaart, I.M., 2017. "Too slow a change? Deep habits, consumption shifts and transitory tax," Working Papers in Economics 701, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    5. Schubert Christian & Binder Martin, 2014. "Reconciling Normative and Behavioral Economics: An Application of the “Naturalistic Approach” to the Adaptation Problem," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 234(2-3), pages 350-365, April.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D60 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - General
    • I30 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General

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