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 Roger Pilon, Vice President for Legal Affairs, Cato Institute.
Drug reimportation looks “inevitable,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson in May. Last year the House overwhelmingly passed a bill lifting the federal ban on reimporting prescription drugs, and three such bills are now pending in the Senate. Several state and local officials, defying federal law, have begun their own reimportation programs. John Kerry supports reimportation. And President Bush recently signaled he would reconsider the issue if drug safety can be ensured. Something is going to give.
In his recent Cato study, Roger Pilon has taken an in-depth look at this complex issue and concluded that lifting the reimportation ban is the right answer, even if bills currently in Congress don’t always do it the right way. Please join us for a broad discussion of an issue that is sure to be on Congress’s plate until it is resolved.