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The economist as therapist: Behavioural economics and "light" paternalism

The economist as therapist: Behavioural economics and "light" paternalism

This video was recorded at International Association for Research in Economic Psychology (IAREP). We review methodological issues that arise in designing, implementing and evaluating the efficacy of 'light' paternalistic policies. In contrast to traditional 'heavy-handed' approaches to paternalism, light paternalistic policies aim to enhance individual choice without restricting it. Although light paternalism is a 'growth industry' in economics, a number of methodological issues that it raises have not been adequately addressed. The first issue is how a particular pattern of behavior should be judged as a mistake, and, relatedly, how the success of paternalistic policies designed to rectify such mistakes should be evaluated – i.e.,the welfare criterion that should be used to judge light... Show More

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