Nudges Do Not Undermine Human Agency
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Some people believe that nudges undermine human agency, but with appropriate nudges, neither agency nor consumer freedom is at risk. On the contrary, nudges can promote both goals. In some contexts, they are indispensable. There is no opposition between education on the one hand and nudges on the other. Many nudges are educative. Even when they are not, they can complement, and not displace, consumer education.
KeywordsNudges Behavioral regulation Human agency Liberty-preserving choices
This essay draws on Nudges, Agency, and Abstraction: A Reply, Review of Philosophy and Psychology (forthcoming 2015). I am grateful to Tyler Cowen, Lucia Reisch, and Richard Thaler for valuable discussions.
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