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 Ed Felten, Professor of Computer Science and Public Affairs and Director of the Center for Information Technology Policy, Princeton University; Gary D. Bass, Founder and Executive Director, OMB Watch; Jerry Brito, Senior Research Fellow, Mercatus Center at George Mason University;
Moderated by Jim Harper, Director of Information Policy Studies, Cato Institute
For all the change information technology has brought to society, the government sector lags behind in part because access to good data is lacking. A stable of private, non-profit, and volunteer efforts promise revolutionary change once they can access standardized, structured, and open government data. President-Elect Barack Obama made transparency a signature issue in the Senate, and talk of a “chief technology officer” in his administration often turns to whether that role might be as much a “chief transparency officer” What are the possibilities for open government data? What are the needs of the data user community? And what are the impediments to getting the data out there so that revolutionary change can get underway