Séminaire KTO-GREDEG-OFCE - Wade Hands (University of Puget Sound, U.S.) / Professeur invité ISEM

"Foundations of Libertarian Paternalism: Normativity, Rationality, and Welfare"
Quand ? Le 02-07-2018,
de 14:00 à 15:30
Où ? Picasso Room
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Title: Foundations of Libertarian Paternalism: Normativity, Rationality, and Welfare


Abstract: There is an extensive critical literature within the philosophy of economics analyzing the libertarian paternalism of Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein. This paper will examine many of the issues in the existing literature, but do so from a different perspective than most of the existing research. First, the main focus of the paper will be different. Recalling Thaler and Sunstein’s distinction between Econs (those whose behavior will be unchanged by libertarian paternalist policies) and Humans (who will, at least potentially, change their behavior in ways that makes them “better off, as judged by themselves,” Thaler and Sunstein, 2009, p. 5), this paper will take Econs seriously by focusing primary on the particular features of Econs who are not making mistakes rather than on correcting the behavior of those who are. Secondly, while the paper will draw on several ideas from the existing research – for example, the “reconciliation problem” (McQuillin and Sugden 2012) and the “inner rational agent” (Infante, Lecouteux and Sugden 2016a) – the particular roles that these ideas play in the critique will be different. Third, the normative character of the Econ reference point will examined in closer detail by emphasizing the difference between normativity with respect to rationality and with respect to welfare/well-being. Finally, in the concluding section, the question of the role of “the social” will be raised and how it concerns, and ought to concern, nudging and the associated policy prescriptions.