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 Ted Galen Carpenter, Vice President for Defense and Foreign Policy Studies, Cato Institute; and Doug Bandow, Senior Fellow, Cato Institute.
Although North Korea has recently made some minor conciliatory gestures, there is little indication that Pyongyang intends to give up its destabilizing nuclear and missile programs. What can be done? War is not an acceptable option, increased sanctions seem unlikely to work, and so far diplomacy has proved ineffective. Does working in closer cooperation with China offer a better option? Beijing has the most clout in Pyongyang, but remains unwilling to use its influence. Could U.S. policymakers persuade China to take a more active role, perhaps even working to oust the murderous regime of Kim Jong-il? What arguments would be most compelling for Beijing and what incentives might Washington offer to win China’s cooperation?