Department of Economics and Business Economics

Who wants paternalism?

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  • Wp12 22

    Submitted manuscript, 457 KB, PDF document

Little is known about the demand side of paternalism. We investigate attitudes towards paternalism among Danish students. The main question is whether demand for paternalism is related to self-control, either because people with self-control problems seek commitment devices to overcome these problems, or because people with good self-control want those who lack it to change
their behaviors. We find no evidence linking self-control to attitudes towards weak forms of paternalism (e.g. nudges or information about health consequences). But respondents with good selfcontrol are significantly more favorable towards strong paternalism (e.g. restricting choices or sin taxes) than those struggling with self-control.
Original languageEnglish
Place of publicationAarhus
PublisherInstitut for Økonomi, Aarhus Universitet
Number of pages27
Publication statusPublished - 21 Sep 2012
SeriesEconomics Working Papers
Number2012-22

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