Review of Behavioral Economics > Vol 11 > Issue 2

Heap-ing on Lippmann: Liberalising Behavioural Public Policy

Adam Oliver, Department of Social Policy, London School of Economics and Political Science, UK,
Suggested Citation
Adam Oliver (2024), "Heap-ing on Lippmann: Liberalising Behavioural Public Policy", Review of Behavioral Economics: Vol. 11: No. 2, pp 255-273.

Publication Date: 08 May 2024
© 2024 A. Oliver
Government programs and public policy,  Economic theory,  Behavioral economics,  Biases,  Heuristics,  Behavioral decision making,  Political economy,  Public administration,  Public policy,  Regulation
JEL Codes: A13, B2, B25, P00
Behavioral economicsbehavioral public policyexternalitiesliberalismregulation


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In this article:
In Pursuit of a Good Society 
A Liberal Approach to Behavioural Public Policy 
A Constitutional Approach to Behavioural Public Policy 


In several articles over the past decade, Shaun Hargreaves Heap has proposed a liberal, constitutional approach to behavioural public policy that conflicts with the paternalistic consequentialist approaches that have dominated the field to date. In recent years, I too have developed a behavioural public policy framework that sits within the classical liberal tradition. Recently, in commenting on my book, A Political Economy of Behavioural Public Policy, Hargreaves Heap identified similarities between my approach and that of the great 20th Century journalist and scholar, Walter Lippmann. In this article, I outline Lippmannā€™s arguments in his classic book, The Good Society, in some detail, and reach the conclusion that Hargreaves Heap was right in suggesting that I am a Lippmannite. Finally, given that Hargreaves Heap and I share a belief in liberalism, I summarise why I think he is a Lippmannite too.



Review of Behavioral Economics, Volume 11, Issue 2 Special Issue: The Contribution of Behavioral Insights to Political Economy: Articles Overiew
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