Who wants paternalism?
Abstract Little is known about the demand side of paternalism. We investigate attitudes towards paternalism among Danish students. The main question is whether demand for paternalism is related to self-control, either because people with self-control problems seek commitment devices to overcome these problems, or because people with good self-control want those who lack it to change their behaviors. We find no evidence linking self-control to attitudes towards weak forms of paternalism (e.g. nudges or information about health consequences). But respondents with good selfcontrol are significantly more favorable towards strong paternalism (e.g. restricting choices or sin taxes) than those struggling with self-control.
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- John Ameriks & Andrew Caplin & John Leahy & Tom Tyler, 2007. "Measuring Self-Control Problems," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 966-972, June.
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