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 Jim Harper, Director of Information Policy Studies, Cato Institute and Orson Swindle, Commissioner, Federal Trade Commission.
Without doubt, computer “spyware” is a serious problem. Just like spam, this Internet pathology frustrates consumers and costs time and money. What should the information technology industry do? What should Congress do? Though well-intentioned, proposals to outlaw spyware may be no more effective than the CAN-SPAM law. Proposed anti-spyware laws may divert attention from technological solutions, put federal bureaucrats in charge of software design, and suppress future innovation. Please join us for a briefing on Internet and software regulation, including alternatives that may be better for consumers.