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Libertarian Paternalism

The Big Idea for Monday, May 27, 2013

Parents need to let kids make mistakes and learn from them. But no sane parent would let their child tumble down a flight of stairs. They would intervene. In today's lesson, Dave Nussbaum examines the idea of how limiting choices is not only necessary, but can also enable individuals to exercise more freedom.

How is that possible? Instead of taking a heavy-handed approach to regulating behavior, libertarian paternalism, a concept developed by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein, is a way of "influencing people to make decisions that they themselves would consider beneficial, without restricting their freedom."


  1. 1 Odysseus Nudged: How Limiting Our Choices Can Give Us More Freedom
    Dave Nussbaum Random Assignment
  2. 2 How Can We Incentivize Prudence?
    Richard Thaler
  3. 3 Can Libertarian Paternalism Change Our Gun Culture?
    Daniel Honan Think Tank
  4. 4 What Monkeys Can Teach Lawmakers
    Laurie Santos

Libertarian Paternalism

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