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 Rep. Jim Cooper
(D-Tennessee), Policy Chairman, Blue Dog Coalition, Stephen Slivinski, Director of Budget Studies, Cato Institute and Jagadeesh Gokhale, Senior Fellow, Cato Institute.
On Capitol Hill today there is a hesitancy to address the growth of big government. Yet mounting deficits caused primarily by massive spending hikes threaten to endanger the economic potential of future generations. The creation of expensive new entitlements—like President Bush’s Medicare drug benefit—only makes the problem worse. Meanwhile, members of both parties ignore the need to reform entitlement programs and restrain spending. Excellent ideas to reform the budget process have been proposed by fiscal conservatives on each side of the aisle, but they sit mostly untouched by members of Congress.