Mario Rizzo

Dr. Mario J. Rizzo is associate professor of economics and co-director of the Austrian Economics Program at New York University. Professor Rizzo has edited an extensive series called "The Foundations of the Market Economy" published by Routledge in London and New York.

The Paternal State and the Police State

Joshua Wright and Douglas Ginsburg have given us a very good analysis of many of the problems inherent in normative behavioral law and economics (especially in the form of “libertarian” or soft paternalism) from the perspective of liberty.  I am in basic agreement with them. Thus I shall simply elaborate some further criticisms of this approach as I see it. The form of paternalism criticized is based on an adoption of the behavioral-economics view that individuals (but not apparently policy-makers) are less than “rational.” But since rationality, in the particular sense meant, is thought to be normatively compelling, some behavioral economists…

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Is the Hayekian Response to “Libertarian Paternalism” Sufficient?

Joshua Wright and Judge Ginsburg offer a powerful critique of the Behavioral Law and Economics (BLE) movement on several fronts, but primarily based on the threat BLE poses to individual liberty.  They provide a helpful and straightforward history of the rise of Behavioral Economics, which applies a simple premise that runs contrary to neoclassical economics:…

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Putting Our Bourgeois-Bohemian Rulers in Their Place

Let me begin by saying that I’m far more unimpressed by the contribution of behavioral economists  than even Wright and Ginsburg. The perception that people aren’t hardwired, so to speak, to always act — in their own interests has only been challenged by those who have made the error of imagining that all human behavior…

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Nudging for Liberty

In this essay I will begin by disagreeing with the authors on two counts.   First, I will argue that defenders of liberty might want to think long and hard about specific issues, such as retirement accounts, where liberty and the free society might be enhanced through nudging.  Put another way, short of a libertarian winning…

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