Here is a link to a paper by Viscusi and Gayer titled "Behavioral Public Choice: The Behavioral Paradox Of Government Policy".
It does a good job of putting behavioral economists claims and policy recommendations in perspective. The claims are overstated and the policies ignore their own claims when it comes to concluding that irrational individual behavior leads to worse outcomes than government behavior.
Here is the paper's Conclusion.
In recent years, there has been a shift in the traditional economics
approach of justifying government interventions based
on the existence of market failures such as externalities, public
goods, asymmetric information, and market power. Influenced
by psychological studies that find systematic biases in how individuals
make decisions, the field of behavioral economics has
led to recommendations for government policies. These recommendations
frequently come in the form of soft regulations
or “nudges,” to correct behavioral shortfalls that lead individuals
to make decisions that cause themselves harm.
The behavioral economics findings that document systematic
anomalies that lead to irrational decisions are important contributions
to the field of economics. While these biases can be justifications
for government intervention, our evidence suggests
that a framework of behavioral public choice should take into
account that policymakers and regulators are themselves behavioral
agents subject to psychological biases, and further, that
they are public agents subject to political pressures and biases
endemic in the political process. The behavioral paradox is that
government policies are subject to a wide range of behavioral
failures that in many cases become incorporated in the overall
policy strategy. We have documented many instances in which
government policies institutionalize rather than overcome behavioral anomalies, and in some cases, attempt to justify inefficient
“hard” regulations, such as mandates, based on the weakly
supported need to correct individual irrationality.
Given that government policymaking is not immune to behavioral
failures, we suggest a more cautious approach, one that incorporates
the insights of behavioral economics in a way that is
less dismissive of the merits of individual choice. Rather than
assuming that any class of behavioral anomalies constitutes a
sufficient rationale for overriding consumer preferences, government
agencies should assess the empirical prevalence and
magnitude of the behavioral failings as they specifically pertain
to the policy context. If there are apparent anomalies, there
should also be an exploration of whether these deviations from
economics norms stem from legitimate differences in preferences
or are in fact errors that, if corrected, would enhance welfare.
Thus, in the design of subsequent interventions, there
should be increased recognition of the legitimate differences in
consumer preferences that may account for purported behavioral
failings. Policymakers should also recognize the behavioral
failings likely to be incorporated in their policy responses due to
public pressure or the behavioral failures of policymakers. Fundamental
behavioral failures are often embedded in the current
policy strategies. Any critical review of private behavioral failures
should be accompanied by a comparable assessment of