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 John Hendren, Los Angeles Times; Amb. Edward Peck, Former Chief of Mission in Baghdad; Christopher Preble, Cato Institute and Johanna Mendelson-Forman, UN Foundation.
The Bush administration insists that the United States will meet the July 1 deadline for handing the government of Iraq to the Iraqi people. But many important issues remain unresolved, including the question of the new government being picked by appointed caucuses (the U.S. plan) or by direct elections (called for by the leading Shiite cleric, Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani). As the deadline gets closer, the administration seems to be moving further away from its original vision of a democratic Iraq in America’s image. And two parties previously excluded from the process—the United Nations and Ayatollah Sistani—are now seen as key to the success of the transition. But even if the July 1 deadline is met, the question of a continued U.S. military presence still looms. How much responsibility does the United States have for rebuilding Iraq? Should the United Nations be more involved? What are the implications for U.S. foreign policy and the war on terrorism?