The Network for Integrated Behavioural Science  
University of Nottingham


I comment on Sunstein's paper proposing ‘Hayekian behavioural economics’. In essence, Sunstein is merely renaming a familiar approach to normative economics, initiated in Sunstein and Thaler's seminal 2003 paper. I argue that this approach cannot fairly be described as in the spirit of Hayek's work. Sunstein's approach is based on a ‘constructivist’ conception of rationality that Hayek consistently criticized. Although both Hayek and Sunstein address ‘knowledge problems’, the two problems are fundamentally different. I develop what I claim are truly Hayekian critiques of Sunstein's claim that fuel economy mandates can be more Hayekian than carbon taxes.

Details: Behavioural Public Policy (2021), 1–10

Authors:   Robert Sugden

Posted on Tuesday 8th February 2022

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