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On the 'cashing out' hypothesis and 'soft' and 'hard' policies


Brennan, G and Brooks, M, On the 'cashing out' hypothesis and 'soft' and 'hard' policies, European Journal of Political Economy, 27, (4) pp. 601-610. ISSN 0176-2680 (2011) [Refereed Article]

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DOI: doi:10.1016/j.ejpoleco.2011.06.001


In the literature on paternalism that has grown out of the behavioural economics 'revolution', a distinciton is drawn between 'hard' and 'soft' policies. Although this hard/soft distinciton seems to be motivated by the thought that the two policy types might have different implications for individual liberty, there is a claim that 'hard' policies are normatively superior to 'soft' for 'efficiency' reasons. We show, by appeal to an esteem-based model of 'soft' policy that this claim is not valid in general. We also expose a number of conceptual mistakes in what many seem to have identified as the normative implications of behavioural economics.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:hard and soft paternalism, pocial esteem, Israeli kindergarten puzzle, emotional tax
Research Division:Economics
Research Group:Applied economics
Research Field:Public economics - public choice
Objective Division:Economic Framework
Objective Group:Microeconomics
Objective Field:Preference, behaviour and welfare
UTAS Author:Brooks, M (Associate Professor Michael Brooks)
ID Code:77142
Year Published:2011
Web of Science® Times Cited:4
Deposited By:Economics and Finance
Deposited On:2012-03-19
Last Modified:2015-01-12

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