September Roundtable: Should Government Create and Influence Social Norms?
Date(s) - 09/12/2013
6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Fund for American Studies
Free for AFF Members / $5 for General Public REGISTER HERE or below
6:30 pm Reception, 7:00 pm Panel
The so-called libertarian paternalist movement has never been more popular with liberals, with the executive branch recently going so far as to hire someone popularly termed the “Nudge Czar” to incorporate the latest social science into policy design. Nonetheless, the concept has received mixed reaction from many skeptical conservatives and libertarians. Yet in many ways, these same conservatives and libertarians share the nudgers’ goals of a more efficient government and better-designed incentive structures.
So what should the government do in areas where, by virtue of acting, a default option or an incentive structure must be established? Should officials incorporate behavioral science in program design to encourage “publicly desirable outcomes” or strive to be neutral at all costs? This roundtable will explore the potential up- and downsides of nudging, libertarian paternalism, and the implications of government action in creating and influencing social norms.