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 Alan Pisarski, author of Commuting in America; Clyde Hart, Senior Vice President for Government Affairs, American Bus Association; and Randal O’Toole, Senior Fellow, Cato Institute and author, Gridlock: Why We’re Stuck in Traffic and What to Do About It; moderated by Brandon Arnold, Director of Government Affairs, Cato Institute.
With Congress poised to pass a surface transportation reauthorization bill in 2011, America’s transportation system is at a crossroads. Should we emphasize high-cost forms of transportation, such as light rail and high-speed rail, whose main goal is to get a few people out of their cars? Or should we find low-cost technologies that can increase personal mobility for everyone, regardless of their income? Alan Pisarski will discuss the future of urban commuting, Clyde Hart will describe the current and future state of intercity bus transportation, and Randal O’Toole will show how future automobile technologies will save more energy and relieve congestion at a lower cost than heavy investments in new infrastructure.