Abhijit V Banerjee: Information, alone, will not do the trick

“Aren’t we, those who live in the rich world, the constant
beneficiaries of a paternalism now so thoroughly embedded into the system that
we hardly notice it? It not only ensures that we take care of ourselves better than
we would if we had to be on top of every decision, but also, by freeing us from
having to think about these issues, it gives us the mental space we need to focus
on the rest of our lives. This does not absolve us of the responsibility of
educating people about public health. We do owe everyone, the poor included, as
clear an explanation as possible of why immunization is important and why they
have to complete their course of antibiotics. But we should recognize—indeed
assume—that information alone will not do the trick.”
—Abhijit V. Banerjee.