Russ Roberts

The Economics of Paternalism

EconTalk Episode with Edward Glaeser
Hosted by Russ Roberts
Legislators vs. Wal-Mart... The Economics of Obesity...

Economist Ed Glaeser of Harvard University talks with host Russ Roberts about the dangers of soft paternalism--various forms of government regulation that fall short of outright bans or taxes but that are meant to correct alleged flaws in the choices we make. Glaeser argues that while individuals do inevitably make mistakes, so do politicians, and the concentration of power in the hands of the few makes government "benevolence" particularly dangerous.

Size: 10.1 MB
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Readings and Links related to this podcast

Podcast Readings
  • By Ed Glaeser:
  • Definitions of soft and hard paternalism:
  • History of Thought:
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