“Curtailing Freedoms to Protect Freedom:
Regulating Against Behavioural-Informed Infringements on a Fair Exchange”
with Adam Oliver
April 25, 2023
Behavioural public policy is a relatively new, but already substantial, subfield of public policy. To date, paternalistic frameworks have tended to dominate this subfield, at least in terms of the rhetoric, but attempts at informing public policy with findings from behavioural science set within a liberal framework are emerging. In this presentation, I will argue for a liberal vision for the field, and yet recognise that when one places a high premium on individual freedom it is inevitable that some will act upon their egoistic instincts to attempt to obtain advantage at the expense of others. Since some of those attempts will, in essence, use the findings of behavioural science in order to manipulate others in an exchange relationship, harms – or negative externalities – will be imposed upon the manipulated. This therefore provides a behavioural-informed justification to regulate against what might be adjudged as excessive harms, regulations that are defined here as budges.
Join us for this talk, to be followed by q&a and pizza! This event is free and open to the public.
Adam Oliver (London School of Economics) has devoted his career to advancing and developing the study of how the findings of behavioural economics specifically, and behavioural science generally, can inform the design of public policies, institutions and interventions. He has, for many years, taught courses on what is now known as behavioural public policy, a term coined at the LSE. Among much else, he is a Founding Editor (with George Akerlof and Cass Sunstein) of the journal Behavioural Public Policy, and the founder of the Annual International Behavioural Public Policy Conference and the International Behavioural Public Policy Association. His recent books include A Political Economy of Behavioural Public Policy (CUP, 2023), Reciprocity and the Art of Behavioural Public Policy (CUP, 2019) and The Origins of Behavioural Public Policy (CUP, 2017).