Article Text

Download PDFPDF

Incentives, Nudges and the Burden of Proof in Ethical Argument
  1. Richard E Ashcroft
  1. Correspondence to : Richard E Ashcroft, Queen Mary University of London, School of Law, Mile End Road, London E1 4NS; r.ashcroft{at}qmul.ac.uk

Statistics from Altmetric.com

Behaviour change is increasingly prominent in public health and social policy worldwide. The papers contributed to this special issue cite numerous examples. The kinds of intervention highlighted in this special issue range from conditional cash transfers, which make use of traditional models of social welfare payments modified to encourage particular behaviours such as school attendance, to incentives to quit smoking or complete vaccination schedules, to “nudges” which seek to affect decision-making by semi-conscious or unconscious “altering defaults” in the framing of choices. Sometimes the intention behind these interventions is to encourage agents to do things which they know they want to do, or ought to do, but find difficult to do in practice; sometimes the intention is actually to alter agents' preferences. Sometimes the intended beneficiary of the change in behaviour is the agent him or herself; sometimes it is a third party known to the agent (such as a child of the agent); sometimes it is for the benefit of more distant third parties; and sometimes it is for the general, common, or public good, however conceived. Here I am drawing attention to the …

View Full Text

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

Linked Articles

  • The concise argument
    Julian Savulescu