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 Douglas Irwin, Dartmouth College; Grant Aldonas, Former Undersecretary of Commerce for International Trade; and Rep. Ron Paul, R-TX.
The U.S. House will soon vote on a resolution to withdraw the United States from the World Trade Organization. Supporters of the WTO maintain that U.S. membership encourages trade liberalization through multilateral negotiations, while establishing a rules-based system that protects the interests of American consumers and producers. Critics see the WTO as a threat to U.S. sovereignty and a lightning rod for more general discontents about free trade. Assessing the merits of U.S. membership in the WTO will be Douglas Irwin, one of the nation’s leading free-trade economists and author of the book Free Trade under Fire (2nd ed.), newly published by Princeton University Press; Grant Aldonas, a former top trade official in the Bush administration; and Rep. Ron Paul, a sponsor of the resolution to end U.S. membership.