Nudging the State toward Better Behavior

April 14, 2009

by Mario Rizzo

I have been exasperated (my new favorite word) recently by the seemingly endless press adulation of the schemes of some behavioral economists for paternalistic regulation (a.k.a. nudging) of private behavior. While I believe that behavioral economics in its purely analytic form has much to teach us, I think that the normative version is shockingly superficial. Glen Whitman and I will be publishing two articles on this subject in law reviews this fall. (More on that later.)

In the meanwhile I have posted a modest suggestion for behavioral intervention at the Adam Smith’s Institute’s blog – here.

2 Responses to “Nudging the State toward Better Behavior”

  1. Erick Says:

    I’m glad to hear that! I hope you address some of the tyrannical proposals in Ariely’s book, Predictably Irrational.

  2. REW Says:

    I suggest using the Yiddish version of nudge (w/ alternative spellings: noodge, nudzh), at least in verbal settings. By using the Yiddish pronunciation, you can highlight the annoying interventionist behavior.


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