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 Wayne Leighton, Professor of Economics, Francisco Marroquin University, Guatemala; and Edward Lopez, BB&T Distinguished Professor of Capitalism at Western Carolina University; with comments by Fred Smith, Founder and Chairman, Competitive Enterprise Institute; moderated by Ian Vásquez, Director, Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity, Cato Institute.
What causes policy reform? And why do policies that impose net costs on society persist in democracies for long periods of time even though better alternatives are available and well known? Authors Wayne Leighton and Edward Lopez will explain what scholarship and the real world tell us about making change happen. Using examples from the United States, they will describe how ideas, rules, and incentives interact and how intellectual and policy entrepreneurs find ways of changing society’s institutions — for better and for worse. Fred Smith will comment on the authors’ prescriptions for setting up good rules and their upbeat outlook for advancing reform.