Author granted license

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International

Document Type


Publication Date





University of Connecticut School of Law




Some critiques of public health regulations assume that measures directed at industry should be considered paternalistic whenever they limit any consumer choices. Given the presumption against paternalistic measures, this conception of paternalism puts government proposals to regulate industry to the same stringent proof as clearly paternalist proposals to directly regulate individuals for their own benefit. The result is to discourage regulating industry in ways that protect the public from harm and instead to encourage regulating individuals for their own good -- quite the opposite of what one would expect from a rejection of paternalism. Arguments favoring "soft paternalism" to justify some regulatory measures may exacerbate this trend. They can muddy the debate, narrow the range of reasons for regulating industry, and instead encourage harder paternalistic regulation of personal behavior.

Find on SSRN



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.