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 Jagdish Bhagwati, Author, In Defense of Globalization and Matthew Slaughter, Tuck School of Business, Dartmouth University.
Anxiety about the impact of trade on real wages and the middle class has complicated efforts to move forward on trade liberalization. How real are those worries and how should policymakers respond? In a new edition of his book In Defense of Globalization, Columbia University economist Jagdish Bhagwati addresses the economic critiques that have now arisen, such as the alleged adverse impact of trade on real wages in the United States, and finds them mistaken. He has also taken aim at the critique of Alan Blinder and others who warn that job insecurity will soon spread to millions of service-sector workers. Joining the discussion will be Matthew Slaughter, a former member of the president’s Council of Economic Advisers, who has argued that the government must respond with policies that more aggressively address income inequality if free trade is to be maintained.