The rise of behavioral economics, and in turn, behavioral law and economics, has been one of the most significant developments in either field in a remarkably short period of time. In 2010, Nudge is a household name, “libertarian paternalism” is (a hotly debated) a term of art, and behavioral economics has taken made its way from articles, journals and popular books and into the policy and regulatory landscape. In the United States, Cass Sunstein — one of the godfather’s of the Nudge — heads OIRA, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is founded on a behavioral approach to consumer credit envisioned by Elizabeth Warren and Oren Bar-Gill, and behavioral economics appears to have gained traction within the Obama administration. But behavioral law and economics is not a phenomenon limited to the United States. Indeed, a “Nudge Unit” has been created in David Cameron’s cabinet.
To give some…
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