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, Jacob Sullum, Senior Editor, Reason; with comments by Sally Satel, Senior Fellow, American Enterprise Institute.
Saying Yes argues that the all-or-nothing thinking that has long dominated discussions of illegal drug use should give way to a wiser, subtler approach. Exemplified by the tradition of moderate drinking, such an approach rejects the idea that there is something inherently wrong with using chemicals to alter one’s mood or mind. Saying Yes further contends that the conventional understanding of addiction as a kind of chemical slavery in which the user’s values and wishes do not matter is fundamentally misleading. Jacob Sullum contrasts drug use as it is described by politicians and propagandists with drug use as it is experienced by the silent majority of users. Sally Satel, recently seen on John Stossel’s ABC News special “Is Addiction a Choice?” will comment.