The Institutional Consequences of Nudging – Nudges, Politics, and the Law
- 1.7k Downloads
In this article we argue that a widespread adoption of nudging can alter legal and political institutions. Debates on nudges thus far have largely revolved around a set of philosophical theories that we call individualistic approaches. Our analysis concerns the ways in which adherents of nudging make use of the newest findings in the behavioral sciences for the purposes of policy-making. We emphasize the fact that most nudges proposed so far are not a part of the legal system and are also non-normative. We propose two ideal types: “law-as-normative” and “law-as-instrumental”, that allow us to understand and evaluate the relation of nudges and the law. We stress the importance of law as a safeguard for the possible negative consequences of nudges and conclude with proposals that could complement nudging policies.
KeywordsLegal System Policy Instrument Behavioral Science Political Institution Ideal Type
The authors would like to thank two anonymous reviewers and the editors for their valuable and helpful comments. The authors furthermore thank Konstantin Baehrens, Richard Bellamy, Juliana Bidadanure, Hent Kalmo, Shmuel Nili, Claus Offe, Dennis Patterson, Eva Tscherner, and their colleagues at the EUI’s Max Weber Programme. Dr. Małecka’s work has been funded by the National Centre for Science (NCN), individual research project no. DEC-2012/07/N/HS1/01560
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
- Bovens, L. 2008. The ethics of nudge. In Preference Change: Approaches from Philosophy, Economics and Psychology, ed. T. Grüne-Yanoff and S.O. Hansson, 207–219. Berlin: Springer.Google Scholar
- Conly, S. 2013. Against autonomy: justifying coercive paternalism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Freeman, S. 2007. Rawls. Routledge.Google Scholar
- Gigerenzer, G. 2000. Adaptive thinking: Rationality in the real world. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Gigerenzer, G., and P. Todd. 1999. Simple heuristics that make us smart. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Glaeser, E.L. 2006. Paternalism and psychology. University of Chicago Law Review 73(1): 133–156.Google Scholar
- Habermas, J. 1996. Between facts and norms. Cambridge: MIT Press.Google Scholar
- Hansen, P.G., and A.M. Jespersen. 2013. Nudge and a manipulation of choice. European Journal of Risk Regulation 1: 3–28.Google Scholar
- Kahneman, D. 2012. Thinking, fast and slow. UK: Penguin.Google Scholar
- Mitchel, G. 2005. Libertarian paternalism is an oxymoron. Northwestern University Law Review 99(3): 1245.Google Scholar
- Pound, R. 1942. Social control through law. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
- Rawls, J. 1999. A Theory of Justice (Revised Ed.). Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
- Sunstein, C.R. 2013. Simpler: the future of government. New York: Simon & Schuster.Google Scholar
- Sunstein, C.R. 2014a. Why nudge?: The politics of libertarian paternalism (the Storrs Lectures series). The Politics of Libertarian Paternalism.Google Scholar
- Sunstein, C.R. 2014b. Nudging. A very short guide. http://ssrn.com/abstract=2499658.
- Sunstein, C.R. 2014c. Choosing not to choose. Duke Law Journal 64: 1–52.Google Scholar
- Thaler, R.H., and Sunstein, C.R. 2001. Libertarian Paternalism. Behavioral Economics, Public Policy, And Paternalism, 175–179.Google Scholar
- Thaler, R.H., and C.R. Sunstein. 2008. Nudge: Improving decisions about health, wealth, and happiness. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
- Tversky, A., and D. Kahneman. 1974. Judgment under uncertainty: Heuristics and biases. Science, New Series 185(4157): 1124–1131.Google Scholar
- Waldron, J. 2014. It’s All for Your Own Good. The New York Review of Books. Retrieved October 15, 2014, from http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2014/oct/09/cass-sunstein-its-all-your-own-good/.
- Weber, M. (1949). The methodology of the social sciences. Shils E.A. & Finch, H.A. (transl.). Glencoe, IL.: The Free Press.Google Scholar