Department of Economics and Business Economics

Who wants paternalism?

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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 behaviours. 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 self-control are significantly more favourable towards strong paternalism (e.g., restricting choices or sin taxes) than those struggling with self-control.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBulletin of Economic Research
Pages (from-to)147-166
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 2014

    Research areas

  • Commitment, Paternalism, Political attitudes, Regulation, Self-control

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