Paternalism and Psychology
Does bounded rationality make paternalism more attractive? This Essay argues that errors will be larger when suppliers have stronger incentives or lower costs of persuasion and when consumers have weaker incentives to learn the truth. These comparative statics suggest that bounded rationality will often increase the costs of government decisionmaking relative to private decisionmaking, because consumers have better incentives to overcome errors than government decisionmakers, consumers have stronger incentives to choose well when they are purchasing than when they are voting and it is more costly to change the beliefs of millions of consumers than a handful of bureaucrats. As such, recognizing the limits of human cognition may strengthen the case for limited government.
|Date of creation:||2005|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 200 Littauer Center, Cambridge, MA 02138|
Web page: http://www.economics.harvard.edu/journals/hier
More information through EDIRC
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fth:harver:2097. 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: (Thomas Krichel)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.