Authors
Guilhem Lecouteux
Université de Nice - Sophia Antipolis
Abstract
This paper discusses the validity of nudges to tackle time-inconsistent behaviours. I show that libertarian paternalism is grounded on a peculiar model of personal identity, and that the argument according to which nudges may improve one’s self-assessed well-being can be seriously questioned. I show that time inconsistencies do not necessarily reveal that the decision maker is irrational: they can also be the result of discounting over the degree of psychological connectedness between our successive selves rather than over time. Time inconsistency can call for paternalism if and only if we accept that an individual is characterised by stable “true” preferences over time-dependent outcomes, and that she is rationally required to make time-consistent choices. This model is descriptively and normatively questionable. I then argue that behavioural findings may still justify paternalistic interventions, but on a non-welfarist basis
Keywords nudges  libertarian paternalism  Parfit  hyperbolic discounting  identity  psychological connectedness
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DOI 10.1007/s13164-015-0265-0
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References found in this work BETA

Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford University Press.
Reasons and Persons.Joseph Margolis - 1986 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 47 (2):311-327.
.Daniel Kahneman & Shane Frederick - 2002 - Cambridge University Press.
Choices, Values, and Frames.Daniel Kahneman & Amos Tversky (eds.) - 2000 - Cambridge University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

From Libertarian Paternalism to Nudging—and Beyond.Adrien Barton & Till Grüne-Yanoff - 2015 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 6 (3):341-359.
Reconciling Normative and Behavioural Economics.Guilhem Lecouteux - 2015 - Erasmus Journal for Philosophy and Economics 8 (2):117.
Die politische Quacksalberei des libertären Paternalismus.Thomas Schramme - 2016 - Zeitschrift Für Praktische Philosophie 3 (1):531-558.

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