Read e-book online The Manipulation of Choice: Ethics and Libertarian PDF

By Mark D. White

Dr. Mark D. White explains the informational, moral, and useful difficulties confronted by way of libertarian paternalism and 'nudges,' wherein the govt subtly affects people's offerings for his or her personal sturdy, in his interesting new quantity The Manipulation of selection. In a lighthearted demeanour, the writer issues out serious flaws within the approach economists version decision-making, how behavioral economics did not right them, and the way they resulted in the issues with libertarian paternalism and nudges. Sprinkled all through with anecdotes, examples, and references to a variety of scholarly literature, this new quantity argues opposed to using paternalistic nudges by way of the govt. and makes a favorable case for person selection and autonomy.

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Additional resources for The Manipulation of Choice: Ethics and Libertarian Paternalism

Example text

Today, the results of behavioral economics are widely accepted and are being integrated in economic models in a wide range of areas. It’s not stepping out on a limb to imagine that in several decades, behavioral economics will be become simply “economics,” and behavioral insights will be accepted as part of every economist’s toolbox. The cognitive biases and heuristics identified by Kahneman, Tversky, and their colleagues are too numerous to describe here at length, and the precise details of them are not important to the overall argument of this book.

But there is another way to think about this, based on the suggestions we presented in the last chapter, that doesn’t require manipulation of costs and benefits: use willpower to stick to a principle of abstaining from alcohol (or dieting, or exercising, or whatever your goal is). Admittedly, there is not much difference between my conception of a principle and Ainslie’s personal rule; the difference is in how they affect a person’s decision-making. A person can certainly think of the consequences of violating a principle or personal rule, just as Ainslie assumes, but he or she can also refuse to consider such things, putting compromise of principle above all thoughts of benefit or advantage.

T R A DIT IONAL ECONOMIC MOD ELS OF CHOIC E 15 Let’s say Jim is shopping for coffee and feels strongly that he should buy fair-trade coffee based on a principle of solidarity with poor coffee growers. He pays the higher price for fair-trade coffee, even though it may not taste better, since it serves a principle that is important to him. This assumes, of course, that he can afford the higher price of fair-trade coffee; there is still an opportunity cost to following principle, specifically the higher price, but this opportunity cost is acceptable to him.

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The Manipulation of Choice: Ethics and Libertarian Paternalism by Mark D. White


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