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.
In the affirmative, Roger Pilon,
Vice President for Legal Affairs, Cato Institute; in the negative, John E. Calfee,
Resident Scholar, American Enterprise Institute.
In this election year, the drug reimportation debate is heating up. Last year the House easily passed a bill that would allow Americans to buy prescription drugs abroad, where they sell at far below American prices, but the bill stalled in the Senate. This year pressure is building from governors, mayors, and ordinary citizens, many of whom are simply ignoring the current ban on importing drugs. Proponents of the bill say that free trade is likely to reduce the high prices Americans now pay for prescription drugs. Opponents raise safety concerns and add that the bill would amount to importing foreign price controls. Please join us for a timely debate on an issue that touches millions of Americans.