Some Noodging About Nudging: Four Questions About Libertarian Paternalism

This is an introductory essay prepared to open the 2015 Georgetown Institute for the Study of Markets and Ethics symposium on “The Ethics of Nudging.” After giving a brief description of the behavioral economics conception of nudging, I pose four questions designed to spur ethical analysis of the practice: 1) Is Nudging Libertarian Paternalism or Libertarian Paternalism?, 2) Is Nudging Ethically Justified?, 3) Should We Be Nudging Politicians?, and 4) Is Nudging Old Wine in New Glasses?