The Choice Architecture of Choice Architecture: Toward a Non-paternalistic Nudge Policy
The paper seeks to recast the goal of nudge policy from a goal of achieving a specific result determined by government or by behavioral economists to a goal of giving individuals as much power as is practical to decide the choice architecture they face. We call a nudge with such a giving individuals “power over choice mechanisms” goal a non-paternalistic nudge policy. The goal of non-paternalistic nudge policy is not to achieve a better result as seen by government or by behavioral economists. The goal of non-paternalistic nudge policy is to achieve a better result as seen by the agents being nudged as revealed through their choices of choice architectures. We argue that non-paternalistic nudge policy fits much better with the values inherent in Classical liberalism than does libertarian paternalistic nudge policy.
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