Richard H. Thaler & Cass R. Sunstein, “Libertarian Paternalism Is Not an The idea of libertarian paternalism might seem to be an oxymoron, but it is both. Libertarian Paternalism. By RICHARD H. THALER AND CASS R. SUNSTEIN*. Many economists are libertarians and con- sider the term “paternalistic” to be. Libertarian Paternalism. By RICHARD H. THALER AND CASS R. SUNSTEIN’. Many economists are libertarians and con- sider the term “paternalistic” to be.

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Suppose that you are about to reach for a cigarette, and I hold your wrist to prevent you from doing so. Home Mises Library Libertarian Paternalism. Though the authors cite two papers by Epstein, they do not respond to this book or even mention suhstein in their bibliography. Libertarian paternalism is a relatively weak, soft, and nonintrusive type of paternalism because choices are not blocked, fenced off, or significantly burdened.

Libertarian Paternalism | Mises Institute

They think it likely that many more transplants would be obtained under this system. What right have other people to a say in the matter? But what if the purchaser has a strong aversion to paying for repairs when an appliance has broken down? Here, I have not imposed a substantial cost on you, but I have nevertheless used force against you.

If people do not “really” choose their actions, why not forcibly restrict them? This is hardly libertarian.


What he “really” wants is that his preferences be fulfilled in the way best fitted to do so. Yale University Press, Will not the supposed libertarian policy defended here lead to much unnecessary unhappiness?

Grynbaum November 7, oibertarian The New York Times. Why not allow transplants, unless someone has signed a declaration forbidding that his body be used in this way? Raising default contribution rates is also an example of asymmetric paternalism. The authors might answer that decisions on whether to restrict one’s future choices are themselves less than fully rational and informed; but to say this is merely to reiterate their original argument, and the libertarian rejoinder to it is unchanged.

Nudge theory in business Loyalty program Safety culture.

Libertarian paternalism

Unless, though, they have filled out a donor card, doctors who wish to transplant organs must secure the consent of whoever has legal custody of the body.

Instead, the state needs to step away entirely and allow people to dispose of their organs as they wish. This article is about the concept of liberal paternalism, which is sometimes described as a form of soft paternalism.

Why, they ask, need one progress down it? To return to the transplant case, if the state says to people that their organs will be taken from them unless they explicitly direct otherwise, it is claiming to set forward the terms paternalissm which people can retain control of their own bodies.


Above this race of men stands an immense and tutelary power, which takes upon itself alone to secure their gratifications and libertairan watch over their fate. It is also asymmetric in the second sense: For example, it has been argued that it fails to appreciate the traditional libertarian concern with coercion in particular, and instead focuses on freedom of choice in a wider sense.

An obvious objection to their proposals arises, and their efforts to respond to this objection form the theoretical substance of the book. The authors consider a related objection, but they do not fully grasp the key point. But a great deal of research, by both economists and psychologists, shows that the assumptions of the standard view cannot be retained in unmodified form.

Thaler and Sunstein suggest that we change the default position. Sometimes their contention has merit. Libertarians need not deny obvious facts.

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Let us return to those who, despite the health risks, continue to smoke. Smokers, research indicates, haven’t fully taken into account the heath risks of smoking. The authors make their case in part by rhetoric, not argument: