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 Bryan Caplan, Associate Professor of Economics, George Mason University, with comments by Scott Keeter, Director of Survey Research, Pew Research Center, Coauthor of What Americans Know about Politics and Why It Matters, and Will Wilkinson, Policy Analyst and Managing Editor of Cato Unbound, Cato Institute.
In his groundbreaking new book, The Myth of the Rational Voter: Why Democracies Choose Bad Policies, economist Bryan Caplan of George Mason University argues that the quality of policymaking in democracies is poor because the incentives facing voters encourage them to choose irrationally. Drawing on survey evidence, Caplan shows that voters are systematically biased in favor of certain harmful economic policies and argues that the scope of democratic choice should be limited. Please join us for a discussion of this important and controversial new book on the quality and limits of democratic decisionmaking.