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: Matthew B. Robinson, Associate Professor of Criminal Justice, Appalachian State University and Renee G. Scherlen, Associate Professor of Political Science, Appalachian State University; with comments by Dr. David Murray, Senior Policy Analyst, Office of National Drug Control Policy; moderated by Timothy Lynch, Director, Project on Criminal Justice, Cato Institute.
Each year the Office of National Drug Control Policy publishes a report called The National Drug Control Strategy. Those reports are supposed to provide information about trends in drug use and assess federal programs that are aimed at reducing the supply of and demand for illegal drugs. Policymakers rely on that information in making budget decisions and holding executive branch agencies accountable. Matthew B. Robinson and Renee G. Scherlen conducted an independent review of those reports, and their research found numerous instances in which information was distorted to justify continuing the war on drugs. Join us for a discussion of the use and abuse of statistics and of policy recommendations for changing the federal approach to problems associated with drug use.