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This timely book makes a forceful argument that the analyses from behavioral economists are incomplete, the policies advocated by libertarian paternalists are misguided and unethical, and both actually reinforce the cognitive biases and dysfunctions that motivate 'nudges' in the first place. In a lighthearted manner, the author points out critical flaws in the way economists model decision-making, how behavioral economics failed to correct them, and how they led to the problems with libertarian paternalism and nudges. Sprinkled throughout with anecdotes, examples, and references to a wide range of scholarly literature, this new volume argues against the use of paternalistic nudges by the government and makes a positive case for individual choice and autonomy. This book is part of White's triptych on individualism and society, which includes The Illusion of Well-Being and The Decline of the Individual.
Dr. Mark D. White explains the informational, ethical, and practical problems faced by libertarian paternalism and 'nudges,' by which the government subtly influences people's choices for their own good, in his exciting new volume The Manipulation of Choice. In a lighthearted manner, the author points out critical flaws in the way economists model decision-making, how behavioral economics failed to correct them, and how they led to the problems with libertarian paternalism and nudges. Sprinkled throughout with anecdotes, examples, and references to a wide range of scholarly literature, this new volume argues against the use of paternalistic nudges by the government and makes a positive case for individual choice and autonomy.
Every day we make decisions: about the things that we buy or the meals we eat; about the investments we make or our children's health and education; even the causes that we champion or the planet itself. Unfortunately, we often choose poorly. We are all susceptible to biases that can lead us to make bad decisions that make us poorer, less healthy and less happy. And, as Thaler and Sunstein show, no choice is ever presented to us in a neutral way. By knowing how people think, we can make it easier for them to choose what is best for them, their families and society. Using dozens of eye-opening examples the authors demonstrate how to nudge us in the right directions, without restricting our freedom of choice. Nudge offers a unique new way of looking at the world for individuals and governments alike. This is one of the most engaging, provocative and important books you will ever read.
Behavioural sciences help refine our understanding of human decision-making. Their insights are immensely relevant for policy-making since public intervention works much better when it targets real people rather than imaginary beings assumed to be perfectly rational. Increasingly, governments around the world are keen to rely on those insights for reshaping public interventions in a wide range of policy areas such as energy, health, financial services and data protection. When policy-making meets behavioural sciences, effective and low-cost regulations can emerge in the form of default rules, smart disclosure and simplification requirements. While behaviourally-informed intervention has a huge potential for policymaking, it also attracts legitimacy and practicability concerns. Nudge and the Law takes a European perspective on those issues and explores the legal implications of the emergent phenomenon of behavioural regulation by focusing on the challenges and opportunities it may offer to EU policy-making and beyond.
Libertarian Paternalism has been hailed by its proponents as the 'true Third Way'. It attempts to reconcile paternalism and libertarianism, and claims to provide freedom-preserving solutions to some of the most intractable problems faced by contemporary Western societies. The bounded rationality of voters is not ignored, but is exploited for their greater good. The approach is cheap to implement, and, its proponents claim, often very effective. What is there to dislike? In Taking Liberties, Rebonato examines whether the freedom-preserving claims of libertarian paternalism truly stand up to scrutiny; questions the degree of effective decisional autonomy it affords; and raises concerns about the transparency deficit of the programme and about its supposed value-neutrality. Taking Liberties argues that libertarian paternalism fails to respect decisional autonomy exactly if individuals truly are as cognitively impaired as libertarian paternalists claim. If this is the case, exploiting the citizens' decisional deficiencies (even for the own good) poses difficult moral and political issues, which are largely ignored in the libertarian paternalistic literature. If, on the other hand, the cognitive shortcomings of individuals are not as pervasive and 'hard-wired' as the behavioural finance literature seems to suggest – and Rebonato reports convincing evidence to this effect – a completely different programme, aimed at improving the quality of the whole decision process, not just of the outcomes, becomes more desirable and defensible. If we accept that some degree of paternalistic intervention by the state is desirable, Rebonato argues that, paradoxically, a hard, transparent and highly visible form of paternalism may be more desirable – if for no other reason than for the ability it gives voters to reject it. As they engage in this process of acceptance or rejection, Rebonato claims, citizens and voters make use of their critical faculties, engaging in a process that has value over and above a narrow evaluation of the outcomes. The libertarian paternalistic alternative is not attractive: by accepting the supposed cognitive limitations of individuals as inevitable, and by attempting to systematically exploit them, libertarian paternalism can dull our critical faculties, and, in the end, the programme can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. This is not a perspective than any true libertarian should cherish. 'The slumber of reason generates monsters', Goya wrote. Turning these monsters into pleasant dreams without waking up the sleeper may be possible. But is it desirable? In Taking Liberties, Rebonato argues that it is not.
Behavioral nudges are everywhere: calorie counts on menus, automated text reminders to encourage medication adherence, a reminder bell when a driver’s seatbelt isn’t fastened. Designed to help people make better health choices, these reminders have become so commonplace that they often go unnoticed. In Nudging Health, forty-five experts in behavioral science and health policy from across academia, government, and private industry come together to explore whether and how these tools are effective in improving health outcomes. Behavioral science has swept the fields of economics and law through the study of nudges, cognitive biases, and decisional heuristics—but it has only recently begun to impact the conversation on health care. Nudging Health wrestles with some of the thorny philosophical issues, legal limits, and conceptual questions raised by behavioral science as applied to health law and policy. The volume frames the fundamental issues surrounding health nudges by addressing ethical questions. Does cost-sharing for health expenditures cause patients to make poor decisions? Is it right to make it difficult for people to opt out of having their organs harvested for donation when they die? Are behavioral nudges paternalistic? The contributors examine specific applications of behavioral science, including efforts to address health care costs, improve vaccination rates, and encourage better decision-making by physicians. They wrestle with questions regarding the doctor-patient relationship and defaults in healthcare while engaging with larger, timely questions of healthcare reform. Nudging Health is the first multi-voiced assessment of behavioral economics and health law to span such a wide array of issues—from the Affordable Care Act to prescription drugs. Contributors: David A. Asch, Jerry Avorn, Jennifer Blumenthal-Barby, Alexander M. Capron, Niteesh K. Choudhry, I. Glenn Cohen, Sarah Conly, Gregory Curfman, Khaled El Emam, Barbara J. Evans, Nir Eyal, Andrea Freeman, Alan M. Garber, Jonathan Gingerich, Michael Hallsworth, Jim Hawkins, David Huffman, David A. Hyman, Julika Kaplan, Aaron S. Kesselheim, Nina A. Kohn, Russell Korobkin, Jeffrey T. Kullgren, Matthew J.B. Lawrence, George Loewenstein, Holly Fernandez Lynch, Ester Moher, Abigail R. Moncrieff, David Orentlicher, Manisha Padi, Christopher T. Robertson, Ameet Sarpatwari, Aditi P. Sen, Neel Shah, Zainab Shipchandler, Anna D. Sinaiko, Donna Spruijt-Metz, Cass R. Sunstein, Thomas S. Ulen, Kristen Underhill, Kevin G. Volpp, Mark D. White, David V. Yokum, Jennifer L. Zamzow, Richard J. Zeckhauser
This anthology provides an in-depth analysis and discusses the issues surrounding nudging and its use in legislation, regulation, and policy making more generally. The 17 essays in this anthology provide startling insights into the multifaceted debate surrounding the use of nudges in European Law and Economics. Nudging is a tool aimed at altering people’s behaviour in a predictable way without forbidding any option or significantly changing economic incentives. It can be used to help people make better decisions to influence human behaviour without forcing them because they can opt out. Its use has sparked lively debates in academia as well as in the public sphere. This book explores who decides which behaviour is desired. It looks at whether or not the state has sufficient information for debiasing, and if there are clear-cut boundaries between paternalism, manipulation and indoctrination. The first part of this anthology discusses the foundations of nudging theory and the problems associated, as well as outlining possible solutions to the problems raised. The second part is devoted to the wide scope of applications of nudges from contract law, tax law and health claim regulations, among others. This volume is a result of the flourishing annual Law and Economics Conference held at the law faculty of the University of Lucerne. The conferences have been instrumental in establishing a strong and ever-growing Law and Economics movement in Europe, providing unique insights in the challenges faced by Law and Economics when applied in European legal traditions.

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