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. Scott Garrett, Chairman of the Congressional Constitution Caucus, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Capital Markets and Government-Sponsored Enterprises, House Financial Services Committee; and Louise Bennetts, Associate Director of Financial Regulation Studies, Cato Institute; moderated by Laura Odato, Director of Government Affairs, Cato Institute.
The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 was intended to “promote the financial stability of the United States by improving accountability and transparency in the financial system, to end ‘too big to fail,’ to protect the American taxpayer by ending bailouts, to protect consumers from abusive financial services practices, and for other purposes.” The law is extraordinarily complex, requiring almost a dozen federal agencies to complete 398 rulemaking requirements, plus about 145 studies that will affect rulemaking. With the rulemaking process underway, there are growing concerns about the Act’s constitutionality. In particular, the Act has implications for the separation of powers, the role of congressional oversight, vagueness and unfettered regulator discretion, and due process. Does Dodd-Frank provide effective oversight by any branch of government, and how can constitutional concerns about the law’s grants of regulatory power be resolved?