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 author John C. Hulsman, Alfred von Oppenheim Scholar in Residence, German Council on Foreign Relations; Christopher Preble, Director of Foreign Policy Studies, Cato Institute; and Daniel Serwer, Vice President, Centers of Innovation, Center for Post-Conflict Peace and Stability Operations, United States Institute of Peace. Moderated by Justin Logan, Associate Director of Foreign Policy Studies, Cato Institute.
As the United States stumbles through ambitious nation-building missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, it is obvious that many in Washington have ignored the lessons that past statesmen had suffered greatly to learn. Chief among these would-be nation builders was the almost mythical figure of Thomas Edward (T.E.) Lawrence. In John C. Hulsman’s new book To Begin the World Over Again: Lawrence of Arabia from Damascus to Baghdad, we are reminded not only of the heroic character of Lawrence, but also of the profound obstacles to nation-building. Despite Lawrence’s best efforts to fashion a stable political order in the Middle East out of the wreckage of the Ottoman Empire, he was overwhelmed by events, frustrated by petty personalities, and thwarted by cynical politics. What lessons, if any, can policymakers learn from Lawrence’s nation-building efforts in the early 20th century? Join us as we discuss this exceptional new book and debate the implications for the future of U.S. foreign policy.