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 the author Vern McKinley, Research Fellow, Independent Institute; with comments by Matthew Stoller, Fellow, Roosevelt Institute, Contributing editor, Naked Capitalism; moderated by Mark Calabria, Director, Financial Regulation Studies, Cato Institute.
In the economic crisis, no issue has aroused more passion than the mega-trillion-dollar bailouts of large financial firms. The standard narrative has been one of necessity and fear, claiming the government must have greater power to respond or we all face terrible consequences. Now, in Financing Failure, Vern McKinley examines the policy decisions behind the bailouts and reveals the untold story and how it relates to the history of U.S. government intervention. Based on new revelations from documents uncovered through the Freedom of Information Act, he scrutinizes the decisions made by the Treasury Department, Federal Reserve, and FDIC during the crisis of the first decade of the 21st century and connects them to decisions of the 1930s and 1980s. These findings reveal that the genesis of financial crises is government itself, be it the interventions behind the Great Depression or the mandates that pushed for expanded homeownership that led to the recent crisis.