The Knowledge Problem of New Paternalism

by Mario Rizzo 

Glen Whitman’s and my long-awaited (by us!) paper on the knowledge problem of the new paternalism is finally appearing in The Brigham Young University Law Review this fall. The interested reader can access the final version here. (You may download the paper when you reach The Berkeley Electronic Press page linked.)

There have been many critiques of the new paternalism but none, to our knowledge, that applies an aspect of the Hayekian knowledge problem to its policies. This Article deals with both theoretical and policy-oriented issues. We hope it launches a new line of criticism of paternalistic policies.  

Here is the Abstract:   Continue reading

Nudging the State toward Better Behavior

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.