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 Charles Peña, Director of Defense Policy Studies, Cato Institute and Doug Bandow, Senior Fellow, Cato Institute
The United States is a signatory to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, which will be subject to a review conference next month. For the arms-control community, the NPT is seen as the bulwark of successful efforts to halt the proliferation of nuclear weapons. But the NPT has two potentially fatal flaws. First, the NPT allows countries to develop uranium-enrichment capability as part of a peaceful nuclear power program; but such capability is the basis for developing nuclear weapons. Second, the premise of the NPT is that in exchange for the other nonnuclear signatories (currently 183 countries) giving up their nuclear aspirations, the five nuclear signatories agree to eventually dismantle their nuclear arsenals. The latter goal was probably never realistic. Moreover, a U.S. policy of preemptive regime change actually creates incentives for countries to acquire, not forswear, nuclear weapons. Our experts will discuss the prospects and problems facing the upcoming NPT review conference.