Why incoherent preferences do not justify paternalism

Sugden, Robert (2008) Why incoherent preferences do not justify paternalism. Constitutional Political Economy, 19 (3). pp. 226-248.

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Abstract

A variety of recent arguments emerging from behavioural economics claim to undermine the credibility, and even the conceptual coherence, of the economist’s traditional rejection of paternalism. Indeed, some suggest that the incoherent nature of preferences inevitably implies a form of paternalism, since some basis for officiating between expressed preferences is required, and some preferences will be over-ridden in favour of others. This paper reviews and contests these arguments. It argues that markets operate according to a normatively defensible and non-paternalistic principle of mutual advantage, and that this principle does not require preferences to be coherent.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: paternalism,preferences,behavioural economics
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Economics
Depositing User: Gina Neff
Date Deposited: 13 Jan 2011 11:09
Last Modified: 06 Nov 2018 15:37
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/18412
DOI: 10.1007/s10602-008-9043-7

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