How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Nudges

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  • April 13, 2017

Rachlinski considers Cass R. Sunstein’s book—his most recent in a series on behavioral nudging—The Ethics of Influence: Government in the Age of Behavioral Science. Rachlinski views this entry by Sunstein as an effort to consolidate his responses to various ethical critiques of nudging, also known as “libertarian paternalism,” the core concept of which is to design environments in which people make choices so as to facilitate decisions that enhance well-being. The essence of the critiques levied against nudging is that “government should do more to educate its citizens to make well-informed choices, rather than simply structure the choice to guide them with a hidden benevolent hand.” This Book Review outlines such ethical critiques and considers Sunstein’s replies.

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