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 Jon Entine, Founding Director, Genetic Literacy Project; Kevin M. Folta, Interim Chair, Horticultural Sciences Department, University of Florida; and Karl Haro von Mogel, Co-Founder, Biology Fortified, Inc.; moderated by Patrick J. Michaels, Director, Center for the Study of Science, Cato Institute.
Despite increasing population, global food production per capita is at all-time highs, even as the amount of agricultural land is reaching new lows. The prime driver has been technology, beginning with the Green Revolution of the 1960s, when Norman Borlaug discovered the key to high-yielding wheat. Since then, “slow” genetics has been replaced by DNA-splicing, giving rise to fears of genetic “mistakes” damaging the world food supply or resulting in inadvertent harm to consumers. Jon Entine and Kevin Folta embrace these innovations, promoting genetic literacy and post-modern agriculture. At this forum they will answer the charge that biotechnology is “a Brave New World of agriculture.”