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 William Easterly, Professor of Economics, New York University, with comments by Arvind Subramanian, Senior Fellow, Peterson Institute for International Economics. Moderator Ian Vásquez, Cato Institute.
Economic success-among individuals, firms, products and countries-is often unexpected and unpredicted. William Easterly will draw on insights from Nobel laureate Friedrich Hayek to explain why prediction is difficult, success is rare and failure is common; the advantages of decentralized decision making to discover what works best in the market and in public policy; and the need to rely on dispersed and local knowledge, rather than government planning, for poor countries to achieve growth. Arvind Subramanian will draw on his experience working at multilateral institutions to comment on the relevance of Hayek’s insights to developing countries and the current foreign aid debate.