Nudging Legally - On the Checks and Balances of Behavioural Regulation

Alberto Alemanno

HEC Paris; NYU School of Law

Alessandro Spina

European Medicines Agency

October 8, 2013

International Journal of Constitutional Law, Volume 12, Issue 2, 2014 (Forthcoming)
Jean Monnet Working Paper, New York University School of Law, Volume 6, 2013

As behavioural sciences are unearthing the complex cognitive framework in which people make decisions, policymakers seem increasingly ready to design behaviourally-informed regulations to induce behaviour change in the interests of the individual and society. After discussing what behavioural sciences have to offer to administrative law, this paper explores the extent to which administrative law may accommodate their findings into the regulatory process. After presenting the main regulatory tools capable of operationalizing behavioural insights, it builds a case for integrating them into public policymaking. In particular, this paper examines the challenges and frictions of behavioural regulation with regard both to established features of administrative law, such as the principle of legality, impartiality and judicial oversight and more innovative control mechanisms such as the use of randomized control trials to test new public policies. This analysis suggests the need to develop a legal framework capable of ensuring that behavioural considerations may inform the regulatory process while at the same time guaranteeing citizens' constitutional rights and freedoms vis-à-vis the Regulatory State.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 27

Keywords: behavioural sciences, administrative law, nudges, regulation, regulatory policy, policymaking, global administrative law, behavioural policy, impact assessment, randomized control trials, judicial review

JEL Classification: I12, I28, J18, K00, K20, K23, K32, M00

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Date posted: October 9, 2013 ; Last revised: November 9, 2013

Suggested Citation

Alemanno, Alberto and Spina, Alessandro, Nudging Legally - On the Checks and Balances of Behavioural Regulation (October 8, 2013). International Journal of Constitutional Law, Volume 12, Issue 2, 2014 (Forthcoming). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2337459

Contact Information

Alberto Alemanno (Contact Author)
HEC Paris ( email )
1 rue de la Libération
Jouy-en-Josas Cedex, 78351

NYU School of Law ( email )
Alessandro Spina
European Medicines Agency ( email )
7 Westferry Circus
Canary Wharf
United Kingdom
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