The Law and Economics of Behavioral Regulation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article examines the law and economics of behavioral regulation ("nudging"), which governments and organizations increasingly use to substitute for and complement traditional instruments. To advance its welfare-based assessment, Section 1 examines alternative nudging definitions and Section 2 considers competing nudges taxonomies. Section 3 describes the benefits of nudges and their regulatory appeal, while Section 4 considers their myriad costs-most notably the private costs they generate for their targets and other market participants. Section 5 then illustrates the assessment of public and private welfare nudges using cost-benefit analysis, cost-effectiveness analysis, and rationality-effects analysis.

Original languageEnglish
JournalReview of Law and Economics
StateAccepted/In press - 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Professor of Law and Director, Notre Dame Research Program on Law Market Behavior (ND LAMB), Notre Dame Law School; Individual Fellow, Israel Institute for Advanced Studies. This project benefited from the generous support of Notre Dame Law School and the Israel Institute for Advanced Studies. Isabella Wilcox provided excellent research assistance.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston 2022.


  • bounded rationality
  • cost-benefit analysis
  • cost-effectiveness analysis
  • nudge
  • rationality
  • rationality-effects analysis
  • regulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (all)
  • Law


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