Soft interventionism: A Hayekian alternative to libertarian paternalism

Cowen, NicK and Trantidis, Aris (2021) Soft interventionism: A Hayekian alternative to libertarian paternalism. Review of Behavioral Economics, 8 (3-4). pp. 341-360. ISSN 2326-6198

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Soft interventionism: A Hayekian alternative to libertarian paternalism
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Are behavioral interventions consonant with a free society? Rizzo and Whitman argue that behavioral interventions aimed at addressing self-harms are premised on an unrealistic neoclassical account of rationality. We show that the rejection of neoclassical assumptions is warranted but does not exhaust the case for what we call “soft interventionism.” Following Hayek’s emergent account of human action and defense of a defined role for legislation to address social challenges in commercial spontaneous orders, we argue that soft interventionism is a less intrusive form of state intervention to tackle the blurred boundaries between externalities and internalities. Nudges can be justified so long as the interventions are proportionate, based on subsidiarity and scientifically informed.

Keywords:nudges, libertarian paternalism, Hayek, market process, Austrian economics, autonomy, classical liberalism
Subjects:L Social studies > L430 Public Policy
L Social studies > L222 Democracy
L Social studies > L431 Health Policy
L Social studies > L110 Applied Economics
L Social studies > L211 Liberalism
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Social & Political Sciences
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ID Code:46784
Deposited On:06 Oct 2021 14:10

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