Scholarly Comments on Academic Economics

Response to Klein

by

Abstract

LIBERTARIAN PATERNALISTS INSIST ON FREEDOM OF CHOICE; they do not want to foreclose options (Sunstein and Thaler 2003). At the same time, they believe that, in many contexts, planners cannot help influencing choosers, even if they aspire to neutrality. If influences are inevitable, shouldn’t planning be undertaken with some awareness of its effects? Libertarian paternalists believe that the answer is clearly yes—and that planners in the private and public sectors should explore approaches that lead people toward welfare-increasing outcomes while also leaving them free to choose.