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 Angus Deaton, Dwight D. Eisenhower Professor of Economic and International Affairs, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs & Economics Department, Princeton University; with comments by Charles Kenny, Senior Fellow, Center for Global Development; moderated by Ian Vasquez, Director, Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity, Cato Institute.
In a process that began some 250 years ago, most of humanity has managed a great escape from grinding poverty and early death that characterized its existence for thousands of years. Professor Angus Deaton will describe the dramatic scope and speed of that progress, why we are living longer, healthier lives, and how progress has created inequalities that can have positive or negative impacts. He will also discuss measures rich countries can take to help the world’s poor, including reducing foreign aid, which has been ineffective and often harmful. Charles Kenny will provide comments based on his own research on global improvements in human well-being.