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.
Featuring Maqbool Ali Sultan, Minister of Commerce and Industry of Oman; Salem Ben Nasser Al Ismaily, Omani Center for Investment Promotion and Export Development; and Fred McMahon, Centre for Globalization Studies Fraser Institute.
The United States has signed free trade agreements with four Middle Eastern countries–Israel, Jordan, Morocco, and Bahrain–and plans to sign a fifth with Oman this month. The hope behind the U.S. policy is that expanding economic freedom and openness in the Middle East will create private-sector opportunities in a region plagued by high trade barriers and stagnant growth. Can freer markets bring more democracy and peace to the region? Two speakers from Oman, one of the freest and most open economies in the Muslim world, will offer their insights from the government and private sectors, with comments from a leading expert on economic freedom in the Middle East.