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 author Brink Lindsey, Senior Fellow, Cato Institute; with comments by Reihan Salam, Policy Advisor at Economics 21, Columnist for Reuters Opinion, and Contributing Editor at National Review Online; moderated by David Boaz, Executive Vice President, Cato Institute.
The rise of economic inequality over the past generation has become a hot-button issue. In this e-book Cato senior fellow Brink Lindsey offers a fresh new interpretation of the growing class divide along educational lines. The good news, he argues, is that modern economic growth has made us smarter. Growth breeds social complexity, complexity imposes increasingly heavy demands on our mental capabilities, and people respond by investing heavily in “human capital” — that is, valuable knowledge and skills. In recent decades, however, the connection between economic development and cognitive development has broken down for large segments of American society. The demand for human capital has continued to grow, but the supply has stalled. Lindsey explores the cultural roots of this problem and offers policy prescriptions for reviving broad-based human capital accumulation.