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Boosts vs. nudges from a welfarist perspective
Philosophy and History, KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, Philosophy.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6727-8723
2018 (English)In: Revue d' Economie politique, ISSN 0373-2630, E-ISSN 2105-2883, Vol. 128, no 2, p. 209-224Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper compares two kinds of behavioral policies, boost and nudges, with respect to the normative questions they need to answer. Both policies are committed to welfarism - i.e. to respecting individuals' subjective reflected attitudes as the basis of judgment about what is good for them. However, because the two policy types affect behavior change in different ways, different normative requirements arise from this commitment. Nudges affect the choice context so as to change behavior, making use of behavioral evidence for stable relations between contextual features and behavioral outcomes. This intervention works irrespective of the nudged individual's understanding, evaluation or participation. Consequently, it is the nudge proponent who must argue that in the planned intervention, the nudge corrects a mistake and leads to a better outcome that is not compromised by the nudging procedure. Boosts, in contrast, affect behavior by training people in the use of decision tools. This intervention works only with the boosted individual's understanding, approval and active participation. Consequently, the boost proponent does not need to answer the difficult normative questions of mistake, welfare improvement or procedural compromise. Although it might be that nudge proponents can answer these questions for many situations, they constitute a normative burden for nudges that boosts can avoid. In this regard, boosts are therefore preferable to nudges.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Editions Dalloz Sirey , 2018. Vol. 128, no 2, p. 209-224
Keywords [en]
Behavioral policy, Boost, Normativity, Nudge, Welfare
National Category
Philosophy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-238270DOI: 10.3917/redp.282.0209Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85047644705OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-238270DiVA, id: diva2:1264820
Note

QC 20181121

Available from: 2018-11-21 Created: 2018-11-21 Last updated: 2018-11-21Bibliographically approved

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Grüne-Yanoff, Till

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