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 Robert A. Levy, Cato Institute; with comments by Walter K. Olson, Manhattan Institute; moderated by Edward H. Crane, Cato Institute.
Baseless lawsuits encourage the notion that individuals can engage in risky behavior, then force someone else to pay for their mistakes. That’s the premise underlying litigation against manufacturers of cigarettes, guns, lead paint, fatty foods, and alcoholic beverages. Meanwhile, our antitrust laws have been co-opted by frustrated competitors who curry favor with bureaucrats to attack market leaders such as Microsoft. In effect, antitrust is now a subsidy used to promote the parochial interests of politically favored companies. In his new book, Shakedown, Robert A. Levy uncovers the worst abuses of a judicial system run amok, then offers concrete proposals to fix the problems. Walter K. Olson, senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and author of The Rule of Lawyers, will join us to comment on Levy’s book and debate the question whether federalism and tort reform can coexist.