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 David Schoenbrod,
Professor of Law, New York Law School;
Adjunct Scholar, Cato Institute; Author, Saving Our Environment from Washington: How Congress Grabs Power, Shirks Responsibility, and Shortchanges the People (Yale University Press, 2005)
and moderated by
Jerry Taylor, Director of Natural Resource Studies, Cato Institute.
In 1970, Congress created the EPA on the theory that only a national agency insulated from accountability to voters could produce the scientifically grounded pollution rules needed to save a careless public from its own filth. But David Schoenbrod, former Natural Resources Defense Council senior attorney, has come to the conclusion that letting the EPA dictate to the nation is a mistake. In his new book, Prof. Schoenbrod argues that the EPA is a musclebound agency that, under Democrats and Republicans alike, delays good rules, imposes bad ones, and is so massive, mighty, and remote that it does unnecessary damage to our society.