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 Jeff Micklos, Vice President and General Counsel, Federation of American Hospitals;
James E. Harris, Executive Vice President
MedCath, Inc.; Mark E. Miller, Executive Director, Medicare Payment Advisory Commission; and David A. Hyman, Adjunct Scholar, Cato Institute
America’s health care system lacks the competitive dynamic that marks other sectors of the economy. The controversy over single-specialty hospitals is a case in point. Also known as “focused factories” of cardiac, orthopedic, or pediatric care, these hospitals have flourished in recent years. However, Congress has temporarily blocked the creation of these facilities. Charging that specialty hospitals represent unfair competition to full-service community hospitals, many parties would like a permanent ban. The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission recently recommended extending that moratorium. The panelists will discuss the nature of “free” versus “fair” competition among hospitals, and what solutions exist that allow for both full-service and single-specialty hospitals.