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 Christopher Preble, Director of Foreign Policy Studies, Cato Institute, and Benjamin H. Friedman, Research Fellow in Defense and Homeland Security Studies, Cato Institute.
Foreign policy analysts are misreading the lessons of Iraq. The emerging conventional wisdom holds that success could have been achieved in Iraq with more troops, more cooperation among U.S. government agencies, and better counterinsurgency doctrine. Yet the Bush administration’s failures and errors in judgment did not derive from poor planning, but from flawed assumptions about the nature of Iraqi society. The difficulties in Iraq demonstrate the need for a new national security strategy and a newfound appreciation for the limits of power, not simply better tactics and tools. By insisting that Iraq was ours to remake were it not for the administration’s mismanagement, U.S. policy makers risk repeating these mistakes. Please join Cato scholars Christopher Preble and Benjamin H. Friedman for a discussion of these issues, which they and co-author Harvey Sapolsky also explore in the recent policy analysis, “Learning the Right Lessons from Iraq.”