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  • Print publication year: 2019
  • Online publication date: December 2019

1 - Introduction


Behavioral paternalism rejects the view that individuals always do the best for themselves, by their own lights and given their constraints. A large number of systematic mistakes called biases allegedly prevent individuals from enhancing their own welfare. This general position supports an array of policy prescriptions designed to correct their decision-making. Ideal decisions are those neoclassical agents would make if they were not plagued by biases. These are the decisions of a model construct (a “puppet”). We review the leading paternalist policy proposals and their behavioral rationales. We then preview some of our criticisms and summarize the contents of subsequent chapters.

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