Why 'Nudges' Hardly Help by Frank Pasquale
"...the nudge is really a fudge—a way of avoiding the thornier issues at stake..."
I think the promises and perils of relying on nudges as primary tools of policy were set forth elegantly in a 2010 NY Times op-ed by George Loewenstein and Peter Ubel, who spoke of the relative magnitudes of the effects of nudges compared to e.g. changes in price:
Economics Behaving Badly
"Behavioral economics should complement, not substitute for, more substantive economic interventions. If traditional economics suggests that we should have a larger price difference between sugar-free and sugared drinks, behavioral economics could suggest whether consumers would respond better to a subsidy on unsweetened drinks or a tax on sugary drinks."
Loewenstein, of course, is one of the founding giants of behavioral economics.