IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

A constitutional economics perspective on soft paternalism

Listed author(s):
  • Schnellenbach, Jan

Using a framework that distinguishes short-term consumer preferences, individual reflective preferences and political preferences, we discuss from a constitutional economics perspective whether individuals find it in their common constitutional interest to endow representatives and bureaucrats with the competence to impose soft paternalist policies. The focus is specifically on soft paternalist policies, because these often work with non-transparent 'nudges' that are considered as manipulative in some contributions to the literature. We show that those soft paternalist policies that are manipulative indeed collide with three criteria of consumer sovereignty, reflective sovereignty and citizen sovereignty that can be argued to represent common constitutional interest of citizens. On the other hand, we argue that the set of paternalist policies that is deemed acceptable on the constitutional level is restricted to non-manipulative instruments, and their application as government policies is limited to cases with stable and very homogenous preferences. However, we also argue that competitive markets are capable of supplying many mechanisms that allow individuals to cope with problems in their decision-making processes on a private level.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/107764/1/819575283.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Walter Eucken Institut e.V. in its series Freiburg Discussion Papers on Constitutional Economics with number 15/02.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: 2015
Handle: RePEc:zbw:aluord:1502
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Goethestrasse 10, D-79100 Freiburg im Breisgau

Phone: +49.761.79097-0
Fax: +49.761.79097-97
Web page: http://www.walter-eucken-institut.de/
Email:


More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as
in new window


  1. Brennan, Geoffrey & Brooks, Michael, 2011. "On the ‘cashing out’ hypothesis and ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ policies," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 601-610.
  2. Kirchgässner, Gebhard, 2010. "On minimal morals," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 330-339, September.
  3. Michael D. Thomas & Diana W. Thomas & Nicholas A. Snow, 2013. "Rational Irrationality and the Political Process of Repeal: The Women's Organization for National Prohibition Reform and the 21st Amendment," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(1), pages 130-152, 02.
  4. B. Douglas Bernheim, 2010. "Behavioral welfare economics," Panoeconomicus, Savez ekonomista Vojvodine, Novi Sad, Serbia, vol. 57(2), pages 123-151, June.
  5. Richard H. Thaler & Shlomo Benartzi, 2004. "Save More Tomorrow (TM): Using Behavioral Economics to Increase Employee Saving," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(S1), pages 164-187, February.
  6. Bruno Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2010. "Happiness and public choice," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 144(3), pages 557-573, September.
  7. Martin Binder & Leonhard K. Lades, 2015. "Autonomy-Enhancing Paternalism," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(1), pages 3-27, 02.
  8. ., 2013. "Seld-organization and complexity," Chapters,in: The Rediscovery of Classical Economics, chapter 5 Edward Elgar Publishing.
  9. Cass R. Sunstein & Richard H. Thaler, 2003. "Libertarian paternalism is not an oxymoron," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, vol. 48(Jun).
  10. ., 2013. "Organizational mortality and its fruits," Chapters,in: Free to Fail, chapter 5, pages 37-48 Edward Elgar Publishing.
  11. Sofie Kragh Pedersen & Alexander K. Koch & Julia Nafziger, 2014. "Who Wants Paternalism?," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(S1), pages 147-166, December.
  12. Thaler, Richard H & Shefrin, H M, 1981. "An Economic Theory of Self-Control," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(2), pages 392-406, April.
  13. Shlomo Benartzi & Richard Thaler, 2004. "Save more tomorrow: Using behavioral economics to increase employee saving," Natural Field Experiments 00337, The Field Experiments Website.
  14. Christian Schubert, 2012. "Pursuing Happiness," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2012-01, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
  15. Cass R. Sunstein & Lucia A. Reisch, 2013. "Green by Default," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(3), pages 398-402, 08.
  16. Faruk Gul & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 2001. "Temptation and Self-Control," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(6), pages 1403-1435, November.
  17. Glaeser, Edward L., 2006. "Paternalism and Psychology," Working Paper Series rwp06-006, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  18. Bruno Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2012. "The use of happiness research for public policy," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 38(4), pages 659-674, April.
  19. Christian Schubert, 2012. "Pursuing Happiness," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(2), pages 245-261, 05.
  20. Bruno Frey & Matthias Benz & Alois Stutzer, 2004. "Introducing Procedural Utility: Not Only What, but Also How Matters," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 160(3), pages 377-377, September.
  21. Richard H. Thaler & Cass R. Sunstein, 2003. "Libertarian Paternalism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 175-179, May.
  22. ., 2013. "Causes of organizational failure," Chapters,in: Free to Fail, chapter 6, pages 49-60 Edward Elgar Publishing.
  23. Dimi Jottier & John Ashworth & Bruno Heyndels, 2012. "Understanding Voters' Preferences: How the Electorate's Complexity Affects Prediction Accuracy and Wishful Thinking among Politicians with Respect to Election Outcomes," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(3), pages 340-370, 08.
  24. Sugden, Robert, 2015. "Opportunity And Preference Learning: A Reply To Christian Schubert," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 31(02), pages 297-303, July.
  25. Niclas Berggren, 2012. "Time for behavioral political economy? An analysis of articles in behavioral economics," The Review of Austrian Economics, Springer;Society for the Development of Austrian Economics, vol. 25(3), pages 199-221, September.
  26. T. M. Wilkinson, 2013. "Nudging and Manipulation," Political Studies, Political Studies Association, vol. 61(2), pages 341-355, 06.
  27. Robert Sugden, 2008. "Why incoherent preferences do not justify paternalism," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 19(3), pages 226-248, September.
  28. Sugden, Robert, 2010. "Opportunity As Mutual Advantage," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 26(01), pages 47-68, March.
  29. Jayson L. Lusk & Stephan Marette & F. Bailey Norwood, 2014. "The Paternalist Meets His Match," Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 36(1), pages 61-108.
  30. Vanberg, Viktor J., 2005. "Market and state: the perspective of constitutional political economy," Journal of Institutional Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(01), pages 23-49, June.
  31. David Laibson, 1997. "Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(2), pages 443-478.
  32. ., 2013. "Why public organizations?," Chapters,in: Free to Fail, chapter 12, pages 139-151 Edward Elgar Publishing.
  33. Hillman, Arye L., 2010. "Expressive behavior in economics and politics," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 403-418, December.
  34. Oecd, 2014. "Intergovernmental organisation activities," Nuclear Law Bulletin, OECD Publishing, vol. 2013(2), pages 117-128.
  35. Schnellenbach, Jan, 2012. "Nudges and norms: On the political economy of soft paternalism," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 266-277.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:zbw:aluord:1502. 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: (ZBW - German National Library of Economics)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.