To devise a libertarian paternalism seems no more promising an endeavor than to construct a square circle. Our eminent authors, though, are not convinced: libertarian paternalism is exactly the position they wish to defend.
Their escape from apparent contradiction is ingenious. It is indeed unlibertarian, they say, to use force to compel someone to act for his own good. They do not favor doing so; but this leaves them free to support a less exigent variety of paternalism. It is all right to render it difficult for people to make certain choices, as long as doing so does not impose substantial costs on them. People, as their title suggests, may be subject to paternalistic “nudges,” so long as these nudges do not coerce them.
But they lack a rational basis for limits. FULL ARTICLE