Paternalism, Libertarianism, and the Nature of Disagreement

41 Pages Posted: 29 Jul 2012

See all articles by Uliana Loginova

Uliana Loginova

Columbia University - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Petra Persson

Stanford University; Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN)

Date Written: July 20, 2012

Abstract

Regulation to protect individuals from self-harm, such as euthanasia prohibitions and safety mandates, is widespread but controversial. Opponents and proponents are often believed to differ in their valuation of individual liberty. We model an authority's decision to constrain or inform a population of agents prone to self-harm and propose an alternative view: A benevolent politician's decision to regulate an activity depends on whether she deems it a matter of preference or opinion. In the former case, she gives truthful advice and safeguards liberty; in the latter, she constrains liberty, believing that she acts in the population's interest.

Keywords: Paternalism, Libertarianism, Communication, Difference of opinion, Coercion

JEL Classification: D64, D78, D83, K32

Suggested Citation

Loginova, Uliana and Persson, Petra, Paternalism, Libertarianism, and the Nature of Disagreement (July 20, 2012). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2113974 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2113974

Uliana Loginova

Columbia University - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences ( email )

New York, NY 10027
United States

Petra Persson (Contact Author)

Stanford University ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN) ( email )

Box 55665
Grevgatan 34, 2nd floor
Stockholm, SE-102 15
Sweden

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