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Paternalism, Freedom of Choice, and Well-Being

Permanent Link: http://ncf.sobek.ufl.edu/NCFE003555/00001

Material Information

Title: Paternalism, Freedom of Choice, and Well-Being
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Outman, Nicholas
Publisher: New College of Florida
Place of Publication: Sarasota, Fla.
Creation Date: 2005
Publication Date: 2005

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: Paternalism
Rational Choice
Freedom of Choice
Attribute Analysis
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: In recent years, the popularity of 401(k) retirement plans has put them at the center of one of the longest running debates in economics and politics--the debate over paternalism. This controversy centers around the conflict between freedom of choice and coercive paternalism. A number of economists have attempted to stake out the middle ground of this fight, arguing that while there may be a tension between free choice and paternalism, the two are not mutually exclusive. This thesis is heavily influenced by these recent works, responding to the arguments over if and how paternalistic policies--aimed at encouraging better individual decision making--should be tempered by free choice concerns. It ultimately demonstrates that contemporary arguments for paternalism at the expense of freedom of choice, for freedom of choice to the exclusion of paternalism, and for a moderate approach that balances the two sides, are all seriously handicapped by ignoring the direct and real impact freedom of choice has on well-being. Because the goal of paternalism is to increase individual well-being, it is argued that the effectiveness of paternalistic policies in achieving this goal might actually be limited by their disregard for freedom of choice. With this point in mind, an adaptation of the attribute-analysis model is then proposed for evaluating the extent to which different paternalistic policies for regulating 401(k) decisions in fact generate greater well-being. Given certain assumptions about the relative weights of freedom of choice and outcomes over retirement savings, it is speculated that policy strategies which influence decision making without formally infringing on choice nor further distorting preferences have the greatest potential to maximize individual well-being.
Statement of Responsibility: by Nicholas Outman
Thesis: Thesis (B.A.) -- New College of Florida, 2005
Electronic Access: RESTRICTED TO NCF STUDENTS, STAFF, FACULTY, AND ON-CAMPUS USE
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The New College of Florida, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Local: Faculty Sponsor: Elliott, Catherine

Record Information

Source Institution: New College of Florida
Holding Location: New College of Florida
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: local - S.T. 2005 O9
System ID: NCFE003555:00001

Permanent Link: http://ncf.sobek.ufl.edu/NCFE003555/00001

Material Information

Title: Paternalism, Freedom of Choice, and Well-Being
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Outman, Nicholas
Publisher: New College of Florida
Place of Publication: Sarasota, Fla.
Creation Date: 2005
Publication Date: 2005

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: Paternalism
Rational Choice
Freedom of Choice
Attribute Analysis
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: In recent years, the popularity of 401(k) retirement plans has put them at the center of one of the longest running debates in economics and politics--the debate over paternalism. This controversy centers around the conflict between freedom of choice and coercive paternalism. A number of economists have attempted to stake out the middle ground of this fight, arguing that while there may be a tension between free choice and paternalism, the two are not mutually exclusive. This thesis is heavily influenced by these recent works, responding to the arguments over if and how paternalistic policies--aimed at encouraging better individual decision making--should be tempered by free choice concerns. It ultimately demonstrates that contemporary arguments for paternalism at the expense of freedom of choice, for freedom of choice to the exclusion of paternalism, and for a moderate approach that balances the two sides, are all seriously handicapped by ignoring the direct and real impact freedom of choice has on well-being. Because the goal of paternalism is to increase individual well-being, it is argued that the effectiveness of paternalistic policies in achieving this goal might actually be limited by their disregard for freedom of choice. With this point in mind, an adaptation of the attribute-analysis model is then proposed for evaluating the extent to which different paternalistic policies for regulating 401(k) decisions in fact generate greater well-being. Given certain assumptions about the relative weights of freedom of choice and outcomes over retirement savings, it is speculated that policy strategies which influence decision making without formally infringing on choice nor further distorting preferences have the greatest potential to maximize individual well-being.
Statement of Responsibility: by Nicholas Outman
Thesis: Thesis (B.A.) -- New College of Florida, 2005
Electronic Access: RESTRICTED TO NCF STUDENTS, STAFF, FACULTY, AND ON-CAMPUS USE
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The New College of Florida, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Local: Faculty Sponsor: Elliott, Catherine

Record Information

Source Institution: New College of Florida
Holding Location: New College of Florida
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: local - S.T. 2005 O9
System ID: NCFE003555:00001

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