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 Randal O’Toole, Cato Institute, and Ronald D. Utt, Heritage Foundation.
As policymakers seek to respond to a slowing economy and turmoil in the housing and financial sectors, it is worth considering whether Congress’s proposed cures would be worse than the disease. The recent housing bubble and subsequent subprime mortgage crisis fundamentally stem from the same root cause: artificial housing shortages created by government land-use regulations. Could current proposals improve the stability and efficiency of the markets, or would they be more likely to prolong the pain and sow the seeds of the next dislocation? And what is the role of financial innovation in the current problems? Please join scholars Randal O’Toole and Ronald Utt to discuss how the housing and financial crises were created and how they can be avoided in the future.