Found 66 article(s) for author 'Cass Sunstein'

Rear Visibility and Some Unresolved Problems for Economic Analysis

Rear Visibility and Some Unresolved Problems for Economic Analysis. Cass Sunstein, September 12, 2019, Paper, “In 2014, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration finalized its rear visibility regulation, which requires cameras in all new vehicles, with the goal of allowing drivers to see what is behind them and thus reducing backover accidents. In 2018, the Trump administration embraced the regulation. The rear visibility rule raises numerous puzzles. First: Congress’ grant of authority was essentially standardless – perhaps the most open-ended in all of federal regulatory law. Second: It is not easy to identify a market failure to justify the regulation. Third: The monetized costs of the regulation greatly exceeded the monetized benefits, and yet on welfare grounds, the regulation can plausibly be counted as a significant success. Rearview cameras produce a set of benefits that are hard to quantify, including increased ease of driving, and those benefits might have been made a part of “breakeven analysis,” accompanying standard cost-benefit analysis.Link

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Has liberalism ruined everything?

Has liberalism ruined everything? Cass Sunstein, August 23, 2019, Paper, “There has been considerable recent discussion of the social effects of “liberalism,” which are said to include a growth in out-of-wedlock childbirth, repudiation of traditions (religious and otherwise), a rise in populism, increased reliance on technocracy, inequality, environmental degradation, sexual promiscuity, deterioration of civic associations, a diminution of civic virtue, political correctness on university campuses, and a general sense of alienation. There is good reason for skepticism about these claims. Liberalism is not a person, and it is not an agent in history. Claims about the supposedly adverse social effects of liberalism are best taken not as causal claims at all, but as normative objections that should be defended on their merits. These propositions are elaborated with reference to three subordinate propositions: (1) liberalism, as such, does not lack the resources to defend traditions; (2) liberalism, as such, hardly rejects the idea of “constraint,” though the domains in which liberals accept constraints differ from those of antiliberals, and vary over time; (3) liberalism, as such, does not dishonor the idea of “honor.” There is a general point here about the difficulty of demonstrating, and the potential recklessness of claiming, that one or another “ism” is causally associated with concrete social developments.Link

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Costs, Benefits and Regulation Post-Trump

Costs, Benefits and Regulation Post-Trump. Cass Sunstein, August 1, 2019, Opinion, ““I told you so.” That is what some progressives are saying about bipartisan policies that Democratic presidents carried over from their Republican predecessors and that the Trump administration is sometimes putting in a less-than-wonderful light.Link

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Harvard Professor Cass Sunstein explains how social change happens

Harvard Professor Cass Sunstein explains how social change happens. Cass Sunstein, April 14, 2019, Audio, “Brian talks to Cass Sunstein, the founder and director of the Program on Behavioral Economics and Public Policy at Harvard Law School. Sunstein served in the Obama administration as the Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs from 2009 to 2012. In his conversation with Brian, he discusses his new book, “How Change Happens,” which answers the question of how social change happens and how change is impacted by social norms.Link

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Trusting Nudges: Toward A Bill of Rights for Nudging

Trusting Nudges: Toward A Bill of Rights for Nudging. Cass Sunstein, 2018, Book, “Many “nudges” aim to make life simpler, safer, or easier for people to navigate, but what do members of the public really think about these policies? Drawing on surveys from numerous nations around the world, Sunstein and Reisch explore whether citizens approve of nudge policies. Their most important finding is simple and striking. In diverse countries, both democratic and nondemocratic, strong majorities approve of nudges designed to promote health, safety, and environmental protection—and their approval cuts across political divisions.Link

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Heuristics and Public Policy: Decision Making Under Bounded Rationality

Heuristics and Public Policy: Decision Making Under Bounded Rationality. Cass Sunstein, June 18, 2018, Paper, “How do human beings make decisions when, as the evidence indicates, the assumptions of the Bayesian rationality approach in economics do not hold? Do human beings optimize, or can they? Several decades of research have shown that people possess a toolkit of heuristics to make decisions under certainty, risk, subjective uncertainty, and true uncertainty (or Knightian uncertainty). We outline recent advances in knowledge about the use of heuristics and departures from Bayesian rationality, with particular emphasis on growing formalization of those departures, which add necessary precision.” Link

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Irreparability as Irreversibility

Irreparability as Irreversibility. Cass Sunstein, 2018, Paper, “Some things, people say, are “gone forever.” But what exactly does that mean? Some losses are irreparable in the sense that nothing can be done to restore the status quo ante – or if something can be done, it is not enough (or perhaps outsiders can never know if it is). The Irreversible Harm Precautionary Principle takes the form of an insistence on paying a premium to freeze the status quo and to maintain flexibility for the future, while new information is acquired. In many settings, it makes sense to pay for an option to avoid a risk of irreversible losses. An implicit understanding of option value can be found in the emphasis on irreversibility in National Environmental Policy Act and other federal statutes, along with many international agreements.” Link

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Which Europeans Like Nudges? Approval and Controversy in Four European Countries

Which Europeans Like Nudges? Approval and Controversy in Four European Countries. Cass Sunstein, January 29, 2018, Paper, “Policy makers show an increasing interest in “nudges”—behaviorally motivated interventions that steer people in certain directions but maintain freedom of consumer choice. Despite this interest, little evidence has surfaced about which population groups support nudges and nudging. We report the results of nationally representative surveys in Denmark, Hungary, Italy, and the United Kingdom. Individual, household, and geographic characteristics served as predictors of nudge approval, and the count of significant predictors as measures of controversy.Link

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