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Nudging Healthy Lifestyles – Informing Regulatory Governance with Behavioural Research

European Journal of Risk Regulation, Vol. 3, No. 1, January 2012

HEC Paris Research Paper No. LAW-2013-981

75 Pages Posted: 18 Feb 2012 Last revised: 23 May 2013

Alberto Alemanno

HEC Paris

On Amir

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Rady School of Management

Luc Bovens

Independent

Adam Burgess

Independent

Orly Lobel

University of San Diego School of Law

Kyle Whyte

Michigan State University - Department of Philosophy

Evan Selinger

Rochester Institute of Technology - Department of Philosophy

Date Written: January 15, 2012

Abstract

At a time when policy makers want to change the behaviour of citizens to tackle a broad range of social problems, such as climate change, excessive drinking, obesity and crime, a promising new policy approach has appeared that seems capable of escaping the liberal reservations typically associated with all forms of regulatory action. The approach, which stems from the increasingly ubiquitous findings of behavioural research, is generally captured under the evocative concept of ‘nudge.’ Inspired by ‘libertarian paternalism,’ it suggests that the goal of public policies should be to steer citizens towards making positive decisions as individuals and for society while preserving individual choice. As governments are taking considerable interest in the use of ‘nudging,’ this collection of essays provides a pioneering analysis of this innovative policy approach as it is currently experimented in the United Kingdom and the United States. In particular, it aims at critically examining the application of nudging approaches to the current efforts of regulating lifestyle choices, such as tobacco use, excessive use of alcohol, unhealthy diets and lack of physical exercise. In his opening essay, Nudging Healthy Lifestyles, Adam Burgess provides a critical assessment of the introduction of behavioural, nudging approaches to correct lifestyle behaviours in the UK. His thought-provoking analysis triggered a lively debate that has been framed along the subsequent essays signed by On Amir and Orly Lobel, Evan Selinger and Kyle Powys White, Alberto Alemanno and Luc Bovens. Each of these essays critically reflects upon the effectiveness as well as legitimacy of ‘nudging’ approaches.

Keywords: Nudge, Libertarian Paternalism, Behavioral, Lifestyle, Regulation

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

Suggested Citation

Alemanno, Alberto and Amir, On and Bovens, Luc and Burgess, Adam and Lobel, Orly and Whyte, Kyle and Selinger, Evan, Nudging Healthy Lifestyles – Informing Regulatory Governance with Behavioural Research (January 15, 2012). European Journal of Risk Regulation, Vol. 3, No. 1, January 2012; HEC Paris Research Paper No. LAW-2013-981. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2005672

Alberto Alemanno (Contact Author)

HEC Paris ( email )

1 rue de la Libération
Jouy-en-Josas Cedex, 78351
France

On Amir

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Rady School of Management ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
Rady School of Management
La Jolla, CA 92093
United States
858-534-2023 (Phone)
858-534-0745 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://management.ucsd.edu/faculty/directory/amir/

Luc Bovens

Independent

No Address Available

Adam Burgess

Independent

No Address Available

Orly Lobel

University of San Diego School of Law ( email )

5998 Alcala Park
San Diego, CA 92110-2492
United States

HOME PAGE: http://home.sandiego.edu/%7Elobel/

Kyle Powys Whyte

Michigan State University - Department of Philosophy ( email )

368 Farm Lane #503
South Kedzie Hall
East Lansing, MI 48824
United States
5174321034 (Phone)
5174321320 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.philosophy.msu.edu/people/faculty/kyle-powys-whyte/

Evan Selinger

Rochester Institute of Technology - Department of Philosophy ( email )

92 Lomb Memorial Drive
Rochester, NY 14623-5670
United States
(585) 475-2531 (Phone)

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