"Nudging" kommt nach Deutschland

Obama hat es getan, Cameron hat es getan, und jetzt scheint auch Deutschland entschlossen: Angela Merkel will sich verhaltensökonomischen Rat suchen, um ihrem Sprecher zufolge neue Methoden für "wirksames Regieren" zu erproben. Dahinter steckt ein Ansatz, den der Verfassungsrechtler Cass Sunstein und der Ökonom Richard Thaler vor einigen Jahren mit ihrem Buch "Nudge. Improving Decisions […]

Continue Reading →

"Nudging" arrives in Germany

Obama did it, Cameron too, and now Germany seems determined to do it as well: Angela Merkel seeks advice in behavorial economics, according to her spokesman, in order to try new methods of "effective governance". This refers to an approach which has been popularized by the constitutional law professor Cass Sunstein and the economics scholar […]

Continue Reading →

Gibt es eine Ethik des Nudging?

Ist Nudging – also die Steuerung individueller Entscheidungen im wohlverstandenen Interesse des Entscheidenden – nicht nur eine Frage des Könnens, sondern des Sollens? Cass Sunstein, einer der Protagonisten der Nudging-Debatte, war letzte Woche bei einer Veranstaltung des Bundesjustizministeriums zu Gast. Doch die Frage nach der Rechtfertigung von Nudging tauchte kaum auf. Antworten wird hoffentlich die Nudging-Konferenz des Verfassungsblogs im Januar liefern.

Continue Reading →

Is there an Ethics of Nudging?

Is nudging – the act of pushing someone in a certain direction in his or her own interest – not just a matter of "could" but of "should"? Cass Sunstein, one of the protagonists of the nudging debate, spoke last week at a conference held by the Federal Department of Justice. The question of the legitimacy of nudging hardly mattered at that conference, though – a question that will be hopefully addressed more comprehensively at the Verfassungsblog Nudging conference in January.

Continue Reading →

Choice Architecture in Democracy: Verfassungsblog-Konferenz am 12.-14. Januar 2015

Is “nudging” – as outlined by Cass Sunstein and Richard H. Thaler in their controversial concept of libertarian paternalism – a modern and efficient tool of governance or a dangerous attack on freedom and individual autonomy? Legal, economic and other experts will discuss the political, ethical and constitutional ramifications of nudging in a two-day conference at Berlin, beginning with a public lecture delivered by Cass Sunstein.

Continue Reading →

Constitutional limits to health-related nudging – a matter of balancing

Politically as well as from the point of view of constitutional law, I see neither good reasons to generally reject health-related nudging towards less self-damaging behavior, nor good reasons to issue a general clearance certificate on the grounds that nudging always leaves the addressee “at liberty”. The state is not prohibited from taking sides in matters of public health – neither generally, nor specifically insofar as self-damaging behavior of accountable persons is concerned. However, claiming that people who are just being nudged remain free to resist the nudge falls far short of the constitutional law problems that nudges can raise.

Continue Reading →

Soft state influence on family life – Irrelevant for the parents` fundamental rights?

The German basic law’s concept of constitutional liberties is difficult to reconcile with an idea of citizens who need to be told by the state what is better for them. Insofar as nudges and incentives affect fundamental rights, the government has to invoke public interests and cannot justify its measures on grounds of the assumed interests of the addressees.

Continue Reading →