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 Jagadeesh Gokhale, Senior Fellow, Cato Institute; Former Rep. Jim Kolbe, (R-AZ) Senior Transatlantic Fellow, The German Marshall Fund of the United States; and Former Rep. Charles Stenholm (D-TX), Senior Policy Advisor, Olsson Frank Weeda PC.
Experts and practitioners of federal budget policies across the political spectrum recognize that America’s fiscal trajectory is unsustainable — especially because of the effects of changing demographic and economic forces on the finances of entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare. Although many recognize that delays make achieving sustainable reforms more difficult, a key requirement for sensible reforms is proper projections and estimates of entitlement program finances. In a new book from the University of Chicago Press, Social Security: A Fresh Look at Policy Alternatives, Jagadeesh Gokhale argues that the government’s methods for estimating the program’s outlook seriously underestimate its imbalance. He develops a more detailed approach and evaluates six reform proposals — two liberal, two centrist, and two conservative — to demonstrate how far they resolve Social Security’s imbalance and who bears the costs under each. Joining him at this event are two coauthors of a centrist reform plan to explain why achieving Social Security reform with broad bipartisan support remains a key national goal and how it can be achieved.