Paternalism and Psychology
Edward L. Glaeser
Harvard University - John F. Kennedy School of Government, Department of Economics; Brookings Institution; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
Regulation, Vol. 29, No. 2, pp. 32-38, Summer 2006
An increasingly large body of evidence on bounded rationality has led many scholars to question economics' traditional hostility towards paternalism. But if individuals' ability to make rational decisions is limited, wouldn't some paternal overseer's ability also be limited - both because the overseers would be individuals and because they would be appointed by individuals? That flaw plagues both "hard" and "soft" paternalism; that is, paternalism that either mandates compliance or that allows individual "choice" at some cost.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 8
Keywords: edward l. glaeser, economics, paternalism, economic paternalism, hard paternalism, soft paternalism, psychology, supply of error, manipulation, tax bans, public monitoring
JEL Classification: B25, B41, C91, C92, C93, D78, H59,Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: July 20, 2006
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