Lorenzo Rampa

Paternalism, autonomy and welfare rights: a reinterpretation in terms of law and economics

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Paternalism; Autonomy; Social rights; Welfare.

The debate on paternalism has addressed a wide range of interferences by the State in the autonomous decisions of individual citizens, including some obligations associated with the welfare rights, such as prescriptions to contribute to a public pension scheme or national health system, to buy a mandatory health insurance or to attend compulsory schooling. The main reason is that in these cases the State intervention often consists of public provision of goods and services that individuals could freely acquire on the market according to their autonomous preferences. This article aims to examine the anti-paternalistic arguments by utilizing 'law and economics' tools, which can offer some criteria for justification of the State interferences and allow for possible solutions to conflicts between fundamental rights that are not based on merely axiological hierarchies.

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