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The freedom to choose which brand and flavor of soda to buy is related to market competition.
In microeconomics, freedom of choice is the freedom of economic agents to allocate their resources as they see fit, among the options (such as goods, services, or assets) that are available to them. It includes the freedom to engage in employment available to them.
Ratner et al., in 2008, cited the literature on libertarian paternalism which states that consumers do not always act in their own best interests. They attribute this phenomenon to factors such as emotion, cognitive limitations and biases, and incomplete information which they state may be remedied by various proposed interventions. They discuss providing consumers with information and decision tools, organizing and restricting their market options, and tapping emotions and managing expectations. Each of these, they state, could improve consumers' ability to choose.
However, economic freedom to choose ultimately depends upon market competition, since buyers' available options are usually the result of various factors controlled by sellers, such as overall quality of a product or a service and advertisement. In the event that a monopoly exists, the consumer no longer has the freedom to choose to buy from a different producer. As Friedrich Hayek pointed out:
Our freedom of choice in a competitive society rests on the fact that, if one person refuses to satisfy our wishes, we can turn to another. But if we face a monopolist we are at his absolute mercy.
Friedrich Hayek, The Road to Serfdom – "Can planning free us from care?"
As shown in the above quote, libertarian thinkers are often strong advocates for increasing freedom of choice. One example of this is Milton Friedman's Free to Choose book and TV series.
There is no consensus as to whether an increase in economic freedom of choice leads to an increase in happiness. In one study, the Heritage Foundation's 2011 Index of Economic Freedom report showed a strong correlation between its Index of Economic Freedom and happiness in a country.