Obesity remains a serious health problem and it is no secret that many people want to lose weight. Behavioral economists typically argue that “nudges” help individuals with various decisionmaking flaws to live longer, healthier, and better lives. In an article in the new issue of Regulation, Michael L. Marlow discusses how nudging by government differs from nudging by markets, and explains why market nudging is the more promising avenue for helping citizens to lose weight.
In Bootleggers & Baptists: How Economic Forces and Moral Persuasion Interact to Shape Regulatory Politics, economists Bruce Yandle and Adam Smith explain how money and morality are often combined in politics to produce arbitrary regulations benefiting cronies, while constraining productive economic activities by the general public.
The Cato Papers on Public Policy is a volume of highly innovative articles by recognized national experts on contemporary economic and public policy issues–with a particular focus on critically evaluating the limits of government policies and on providing potential improvements and solutions. In conjunction with the volume’s creation, which is published in late fall, the papers are initially presented and discussed at a public conference by the authors, a distinguished group of discussants, invited academics from around the country, local economists from government and think tanks, and members of the public.