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 authors Ronald Coase (by video), Nobel Laureate, University of Chicago; Ning Wang, Assistant Professor of Global Studies, Arizona State University; with comments by Albert Keidel, Senior Fellow, Atlantic Council, Asia Program ; moderated by James A. Dorn, Editor, Cato Journal, and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Cato Institute.
China has taken an extraordinary, and often unanticipated, journey in transforming itself from a closed agrarian socialist economy to a powerful economic force in the international arena. Coase and Wang persuasively argue that the reforms implemented by China’s leaders during the past 35 years did not represent a concerted attempt to create a capitalist economy, and it was “marginal revolutions” that introduced the market and entrepreneurship back to China. Lessons from the West were guided by the traditional Chinese principle of “seeking truth from facts.” How China Became Capitalist challenges received wisdom about the future of the Chinese economy, warning that while China has enormous potential for further growth, the future is clouded by the government’s monopoly of ideas and power. The authors argue that the development of a market for ideas — which has a long and revered tradition in China — would be integral to bringing about the Chinese dream of social harmony.