Date of Submission
Academic Programs and Concentrations
Division of Social Studies; Economics
Project Advisor 1
Project Advisor 2
Behavioral economists have recommended the use of nudges to promote welfare through public and private policies as a form of ‘libertarian paternalism’. It remains a controversial topic and opponents of nudging claim that it violates individual liberty and autonomy. Even so, nudging has found success in helping people save more for retirement. Automatic enrollment and the Save More Tomorrow™ plan use defaults to encourage higher participation and contribution rates in 401(k) retirement savings plans. I argue that these policies violate individual autonomy and fail to determine individuals’ preferences. Ethical interventions prioritize the intelligibility of preferences, enhance individual autonomy, and promote welfare over time.
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Dunn, Edward E. V, "An Ethical Examination of Libertarian Paternalism: The Impact of Retirement Savings Nudges on Autonomy and Welfare" (2019). Senior Projects Spring 2019. 172.
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