Nudge and Abortion” has sparked a lively Twitter debate.  Leigh Caldwell has most thoughtful reaction:

Leigh: but: ‘s arg holds IF his preference premise is true. Regretting NEVER having kids != regretting an abortion

My response to Leigh: I didn’t bring up the regret of the childless to show that women regret abortions.  The two claims are indeed quite different.  I brought up the regret of the childless to rebut the objection that people’s ex post assessment of their childbearing outcomes simply reflects status quo bias.  There really is an asymmetry: Buyer’s remorse is rare, non-buyer’s remorse is common.

In any case, I can easily streamline my preference premise.  Key claim: Women who want abortions often expect having the child to be a disaster, even though women who carry unwanted pregnancies to term very rarely see it that way.  This big divergence between ex ante assumption and ex post experience is a golden opportunity for nudging to ultimately make people better off in their own eyes.

To repeat, I oppose government nudging (except cutting government spending, if that counts).  But I’d think that friends of government nudging would welcome my suggestions.