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 Patrick Michaels with comments by John Fialka and Seth Borenstein
The debate about global climate change is heating up again. Vice President Al Gore continues to hammer away at the need to control greenhouse gas emissions while the next scientific report of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is being prepared for release early next year. Patrick Michaels, professor of environmental sciences at the University of Virginia and coauthor of a new book on global warming, discussed the present state of both the scientific and political debates surrounding climate change. Environmental journalists John Fialka of the Wall Street Journal and Seth Borenstein of Knight-Ridder led the discussion thereafter.