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 Roy Prosterman, Chair Emeritus, Rural Development Institute; and
Zhu Keliang, East Asia Program Manager, Rural Development Institute; moderated by
Ian Vasquez, Director, Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity, Cato Institute
Between 700 and 800 million Chinese, more than half of China’s population, are still rural. Economic reforms have helped Chinese farmers, but rural China is falling further and further behind urban China. The lack of land rights for rural Chinese is a major cause of the disparity and a major source of social instability. Secure land rights would allow farmers to increase investments, improve productivity and accumulate wealth. In recent years, the Chinese government has passed laws to make those rights more secure. Based on their 2008 survey of farmers in 17 provinces, Roy Prosterman and Zhu Keliang will assess the current status of farmers’ rights, document ongoing violations, and propose policies that would do much more to give farmers legal security in their land.