Nudges, Transparenz und Autonomie: eine normativ gehaltvolle Kategorisierung von Maßnahmen des Nudgings
Authors: Ludger Heidbrink and Andrea Klonschinski (Vierteljahreshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung, Vol. 87(1), 15-27)
The debate on the legitimacy of nudging is hampered by the absence of a clear definition of what a nudge is. Given that the attempt to limit the term “nudge” to interventions exploiting cognitive biases has not been accepted in the literature and since the respective interventions lack legitimacy, a more fine-grained conceptualization of nudges seems warranted. The paper offers a categorization of nudges on the basis of their transparency on and the question of whether the intervention aims at the automatic system only or tackles the reflexive system as well. We argue that nudges are legitimate when they allow for autonomous choice and aim at a decision problem which is actually identified as such by the individual herself. This is the case when (i) nudges are transparent, tackle the reflective system, and help the individual dealing with issues of attention and obliviousness (for example warnings), (ii) have an educative function, and (iii) when they respond to issues of self-control, which the individual regards as not fitting into her long-term preferences and her overarching scheme of life.
JEL: D11, E21, I31, Y80, Z18