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 Ted Galen Carpenter, Vice President for Defense and Foreign Policy Studies, Cato Institute; and Ian Vásquez, Director of the Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity, Cato Institute.
Since President Nixon launched the War on Drugs in 1971, its escalating direct and indirect costs have become increasingly apparent. As we have seen over the decades in Colombia, Mexico, Afghanistan, and other drug-source countries, banning the drug trade creates economic distortions and an opportunity for some of the most unsavory elements to gain tenacious footholds. Drug prohibition inevitably leads to an orgy of corruption and violence. Do any perceived benefits of the current prohibitionist policies outweigh the growing costs to the United States and other countries? Please join Cato scholars Ted Carpenter and Ian Vásquez for a discussion of the international consequences of America’s war on drugs and whether alternative approaches would lead to better outcomes.