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 David Goldhill, Author of “How American Health Care Killed My Father,” The Atlantic, September 2009; and Michael F. Cannon, Director of Health Policy Studies, Cato Institute, and co-author of Healthy Competition: What’s Holding Back Health Care and How to Free It.
David Goldhill is a Democrat and a business executive who paid little attention to the economics of health care before his father’s life was cut short by a hospital-acquired infection. That loss drove him to uncover the truth about American health care, which he reveals in an article that has been acclaimed as a “stemwinder” and “a fascinating read.” Goldhill explains why “it looks like this generation of ‘comprehensive’ reform will not address the underlying issues, any more than previous efforts did. Instead it will put yet more patches on the walls of an edifice that is fundamentally unsound—and then build that edifice higher.”