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.
Clint Bolick argues in his new book, written with Jeb Bush, that the three broad components of immigration reform—better immigration enforcement, a lawful pathway for future migrants, and the legalization of current unauthorized immigrants—must work together to produce a viable immigration policy. The 1986 Reagan amnesty failed because it was a partial reform that increased immigration enforcement but did not increase legal opportunities for lower skilled immigrants. The 2007 immigration reform bill failed to even pass the Senate for a similar reason—its guest worker visa program was eviscerated. Immigration reform must produce an easily enforceable law that allows the world’s best, brightest, and most industrious a chance to contribute to the American economy.