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 authors Randall G. Holcombe, DeVoe Moore Professor of Economics, Florida State University; and Andrea M. Castillo, Program Associate, Mercatus Center; with comments by Timothy P. Carney Visiting Fellow, American Enterprise Institute and Senior Political Columnist, Washington Examiner; moderated by Dalibor Rohac; Policy Analyst, Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity, Cato Institute.
A leading justification for the growth of government is the supposed need to control the power of big business and to spread the benefits of the liberal economic order to the greatest possible number of beneficiaries. However, according to Randall Holcombe and Andrea Castillo, the expansion of government results in a different concentration of power: cronyism, in which some people — typically the wealthy and the politically well-connected — have access to privileges that are denied to the rest of the population. Please join us for a discussion of real-world manifestations of big-government cronyism, ranging from central planning to environmentalism and industrial policy, and an exploration of how they invariably enable small groups of individuals — the cronies — to gain at the expense of everyone else.