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Merely Means Paternalist? Prospect Theory and 'Debiased' Welfare Analysis

Thoma, Johanna (2023) Merely Means Paternalist? Prospect Theory and 'Debiased' Welfare Analysis. [Preprint]

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Abstract

Behavioural welfare economics usually aims at mere means paternalism, helping agents better pursue their own goals. This paper discusses one initially promising way to inform policies addressed at agents who violate expected utility theory (EUT), namely what I call 'CPT debiasing'. I argue that this approach is problematic even if we grant the normative authority of EUT, the descriptive adequacy of CPT (cumulative prospect theory), and the general acceptability of means paternalism. First, it is doubtful whether the CPT utility function measures what its proponents intend. Second, by imposing risk neutrality on agents the approach involves a more problematic paternalism.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Thoma, Johannajohanna.thoma@uni-bayreuth.de
Keywords: Behavioural Welfare Economics, Bias, Preference Purification, Prospect Theory, Risk
Subjects: General Issues > Decision Theory
Specific Sciences > Economics
Specific Sciences > Psychology > Judgment and Decision Making
General Issues > Science and Society
General Issues > Science and Policy
General Issues > Values In Science
Depositing User: Johanna Thoma
Date Deposited: 31 Aug 2023 16:00
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2023 16:00
Item ID: 22475
Subjects: General Issues > Decision Theory
Specific Sciences > Economics
Specific Sciences > Psychology > Judgment and Decision Making
General Issues > Science and Society
General Issues > Science and Policy
General Issues > Values In Science
Date: 2023
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/22475

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