Cass Sunstein presents his tome, Nudge, and discusses “libertarian paternalism.”

Cass R. Sunstein is the Robert Walmsley University Professor at Harvard. From 2009 to 2012, he was Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. He is coauthor of Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness (2009) and author of The World According to Star Wars (2016).

David Boaz is the executive vice president of the Cato Institute and has played a key role in the development of the Cato Institute and the libertarian movement. He is the author of The Libertarian Mind: A Manifesto for Freedom and the editor of The Libertarian Reader.

Boaz is a provocative commentator and a leading authority on domestic issues such as education choice, drug legalization, the growth of government, and the rise of libertarianism. Boaz is the former editor of New Guard magazine and was executive director of the Council for a Competitive Economy prior to joining Cato in 1981. The earlier edition of The Libertarian Mind, titled Libertarianism: A Primer, was described by the Los Angeles Times as “a well‐​researched manifesto of libertarian ideas.” His other books include The Politics of Freedom and the Cato Handbook for Policymakers.

His articles have been published in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, National Review, and Slate, and he wrote the entry on libertarianism for Encyclopedia Britannica. Finally he is a frequent guest on national television and radio shows.

Will Wilkinson is a Canadian American libertarian writer and former research fellow and managing editor at the Cato Institute. His political philosophy is described by The American Conservative magazine as “Rawlsekian,” a mixture of John Rawls’s principles and Friedrich von Hayek’s methods.

Cass Sunstein, University of Chicago Law School, presents his tome on “libertarian paternalism,” which he co‐​authored with Richard Thaler, University of Chicago Business School. Comments by Terrence Chorvat, George Mason University Law School, and Will Wilkinson, Cato Institute. Moderated by David Boaz.

Expanding on their widely discussed article on “libertarian paternalism,” Professors Sunstein and Thaler argue that people often make bad choices on diet, retirement savings, health insurance, and contributing to climate change. In their new book they examine how human beings make decisions. Recent scientific research shows that people are susceptible to cognitive biases and blunders. Because we are human, we are fallible, and because we are fallible, we can use all the help we can get. Sunstein and Thaler argue that by knowing how people think, we can design choice environments that make it easier for people to choose what is best for themselves, their families, and their society. Using colorful examples from the most important aspects of life, Thaler and Sunstein demonstrate how thoughtful “choice architecture” can be established to nudge us in beneficial directions without restricting freedom of choice. Will Wilkinson and Terrence Chorvat will raise questions about the proper place of “choice architecture” in a free society and the plausibility of “libertarian paternalism.”