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 the authors Kevin Dowd, Pensions Institute, Cass Business School, City University London; and Martin Hutchinson, The Bear’s Lair; with comments by Anthony Sanders, George Mason University; moderated by Mark Calabria, Director, Financial Regulation Studies, Cato Institute.
Disasters are generally caused by bad ideas. There was the theory that government should guarantee housing loans and that the Federal Reserve could inflate our way to prosperity. There were the regulators, who thought risk could be eliminated by 1,000-page rulebooks. And there were the academics, who thought capitalism with massive debt and “scientific management” control was just as good as the real thing. In Alchemists of Loss, authors Kevin Dowd and Martin Hutchinson take each to task and show how all combined in bringing our financial markets to the brink.