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This paper examines criticisms of libertarian paternalism, focusing in particular on so-called knowledge problems: the set of problems associated with the question of whether a choice architect would, or even could, have sufficient information to implement a successful libertarian paternalist policy. The paper builds on arguments presented in Mario Rizzo and Glen Whitman’s book Escaping Paternalism: Rationality, Behavioral Economics and Public Policy (2020). Although the paper supports Rizzo and Whitman’s arguments about knowledge problems, it moves in a different, more social, direction when it comes to the implications of these criticisms for microeconomic-based governmental policy more generally.
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.