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Quotation of the Day…

… is from pages 19-20 of Mario Rizzo’s and Glen Whitman’s much-anticipated 2020 Cambridge University Press book, Escaping Paternalism: Rationality, Behavioral Economics, and Public Policy (reference excluded):

To make matters worse, there is little reason to believe that legislators and bureaucrats will engage in the kind of careful, modest, data-driven policymaking that behavioral paternalists envision. Lacking sufficient knowledge of people’s “true” preferences, but nevertheless charged with creating policy, policymakers will inevitably find some other basis on which to do so. Even when they are not manipulated by pressure groups, policymakers are likely to rely on simple rules of thumb and unjustified assumptions. They presumably share the behavioral and cognitive biases that paternalists have attributed to private decision-makers, but they lack the effective incentives that the latter have to correct their own failings. Consequently, we argue that policymakers will tend to promote some combination of their own preferences, socially approved preferences, or special-interest preferences – none of which are synonymous with the real preferences of people targeted by paternalist laws.