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Article

Behavioral economics and new paternalism

Russian Journal of Economics. 2015. Vol. 1. No. 1. P. 81-107.

The paper provides a critical appraisal of the normative program of behavioral economics known as ‘new paternalism’. First, it explores the theoretical foundations of behavioral economics, describes major behavioral anomalies associated with bounded rationality of economic agents and discusses its normative principles and political implications. It then discusses the main empirical and conceptual drawbacks of new paternalism and provides arguments for the alternative non-welfarist normative tradition based on the idea of freedom.