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 author Deepak Lal, Professor Emeritus of International Development Studies, University of California at Los Angeles, Senior Fellow, Cato Institute; with comments by Marcus Noland, Senior Fellow, Peterson Institute for International Economics; moderated by Ian Vasquez, Director, Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity, Cato Institute.
The greatest reduction in mass poverty in human history has occurred during the current era of globalization. The world’s poor are now catching up with the rich at a rapid pace in terms of human well-being. Deepak Lal will discuss how, despite those achievements, confusion about poor countries abounds: the World Bank exaggerates the extent of poverty; the benefits of new development fads including microfinance or randomized testing of projects, are vastly oversold; and discredited theories, such as the need for massive foreign aid to save Africa, have been resurrected. Marcus Noland will draw from his experience working in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East to comment on the book and its view that increased liberalization in the developing world is decreasing the influence of the West’s advocates of dirigisme.