On Nudging: A Review of Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth and Happiness by Richard H. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein
This paper reviews the case for libertarian paternalism presented by Thaler and Sunstein in Nudge. Thaler and Sunstein argue that individuals' preferences are often incoherent, making paternalism is unavoidable; however, paternalistic interventions should 'nudge' individuals without restricting their choices, and should nudge them towards what they would have chosen had they not been subject to specific limitations of rationality. I argue that the latter criterion provides inadequate guidance to nudgers. It is inescapably normative, and so allows nudgers' conceptions of well-being to override those of nudgees. Even if nudgees' rationality were unbounded, their revealed preferences might still be incoherent.
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Volume (Year): 16 (2009)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
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