Advanced Topics in Liberty

Libertarian Paternalism

Conference for Professionals - March 22-24, 2013

Discussion Leader: Bill Glod

Session 1: Human Choices: Predictably Irrational?

Thaler, Richard H. and Cass R. Sunstein. Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness. New York: Penguin Books, 2009. Chapter 1, “Biases and Blunders” (pages 17–39), Chapter 2, “Resisting Temptation” (pages 40–52), Chapter 3, “Following the Herd” (pages 53–71), and notes (pages 255–257).

Session 2: Nudges, Incentives, and Choice Architecture

Thaler, Richard H. and Cass R. Sunstein. Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness. New York: Penguin Books, 2009. Chapter 4, “When Do We Need a Nudge?” (pages 72–80), Chapter 5, “Choice Architecture” (pages 81–100), and notes (page 257).

Session 3: Libertarian Paternalism and Public Policy

Thaler, Richard H. and Cass R. Sunstein. Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness. New York: Penguin Books, 2009. Chapter 9, “Privatizing Social Security: Smorgasbord Style” (pages 145–156), Chapter 12, “Saving the Planet” (pages 183–196), Chapter 13, “Improving School Choices” (pages 199–206), Chapter 15, “Privatizing Marriage” (pages 215–226), and notes (pages 259–261).

Session 4: Libertarian Paternalism and its Critics

Thaler, Richard H. and Cass R. Sunstein. Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness. New York: Penguin Books, 2009. Chapter 17, “Objections” (pages 236–251) and notes (page 262).

Whitman, Glen. “Against the New Paternalism: Internalities and the Economics of Self-Control.” Cato Policy Analysis (February 22, 2006): 1–16.

Session 5: Are Regulators Rational?

Whitman, Douglas Glen and Mario J. Rizzo. “Paternalist Slopes.” NYU Journal of Law & Liberty 2, no. 3 (January 2007): 411–443.

Tasic, Slavisa. “Are Regulators Rational?” Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines 17, no. 1, Article 3 (2011): 1–19.

Section 6: Is There an Alternative to Paternalism?

Sugden, Robert. “Why Incoherent Preferences Do Not Justify Paternalism.” Constitutional Political Economy 19 (2008): 226–248.