Review of Behavioral Economics > Vol 8 > Issue 3-4

Boosts: A Remedy for Rizzo and Whitman’s Panglossian Fatalism

Till Grüne-Yanoff, KTH Royal Institute of Technology Stockholm, Sweden,
Suggested Citation
Till Grüne-Yanoff (2021), "Boosts: A Remedy for Rizzo and Whitman’s Panglossian Fatalism", Review of Behavioral Economics: Vol. 8: No. 3-4, pp 285-303.

Publication Date: 09 Dec 2021
© 2021 T. Grüne-Yanoff
Behavioral Economics,  Bounded rationality,  Psychology,  Biases,  Heuristics,  Public policy,  Individual Decision Making,  Behavioral Decision Making,  Consumer Behavior,  Behavioral strategy
JEL Codes: D90, I30
Behavioral policynudgeboostLibertarianismpaternalismrationalityconsistencyknowledge deficit


Open Access

This is published under the terms of CC-BY.

In this article:
1. Introduction 
2. Inclusive Rationality and the Panglossian Conclusion 
3. Resisting the Panglossian Conclusion 
4. Overcoming the Fatalistic Conclusion through Boosts 
5. Conclusion 


I identify two problematic conclusions that remain somewhat implicit in Rizzo and Whitman’s book: the Panglossian conclusion that whatever the individual thinks or wants is best for her, and the Fatalistic conclusion that there are no justified paternalistic interventions. Against the first conclusion, I critically discuss the authors’ arguments against consistency-based rationality. Against the second, I show that there is a whole class of paternalistic interventions, Boosts, that do not require Rizzo and Whitman’s demanding epistemic preconditions in order to be successful.



Review of Behavioral Economics, Volume 8, Issue 3-4 Special Issue: Escaping Paternalism: Articles Overiew
See the other articles that are part of this special issue.