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, Philip Zimbardo, Stanford University, with comments by Julian Sanchez, Reason, and Will Wilkinson, Cato Institute.
Prof. Philip Zimbardo, the conductor of the infamous 1971 Stanford Prison Experiment, has become a leading authority on the psychology of evil: How is it that people are induced to commit evil, even when they consider themselves “good” people? What social dynamics encourage—or discourage—cruelty toward other human beings? The Lucifer Effect offers a full reconstruction of the 1971 experiment based on archival video, subject diaries, exit interviews, and other contemporary material. It then gives an introduction to the psychology of social morality as it has developed over the years. The book culminates with an examination of the prisoner abuse scandals of Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay, and elsewhere, challenging accounts that would hold individual soldiers solely responsible for their actions, and indicting the chain of command for knowingly creating conditions that would lead to degrading treatment and torture.