Date of Submission

Spring 2019

Academic Programs and Concentrations

Division of Social Studies; Economics

Project Advisor 1

Aniruddha Mitra

Project Advisor 2

Martin Binder

Abstract/Artist's Statement

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.

Open Access Agreement

Open Access

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
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