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 Jason Sorens, University of Buffalo (SUNY); and William Ruger, Texas State University–San Marcos; with comments by Michael Barone, Washington Examiner and The Almanac of American Politics; moderated by John Samples, Cato Institute.
In the new edition of their study “Freedom in the 50 States: An Index of Personal and Economic Freedom,” published by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, political scientists Jason Sorens and William Ruger comprehensively rank the American states on their public policies that affect individual freedoms in the economic, social, and personal spheres. Two intriguing findings of the statistical analysis are that Americans are voting with their feet and moving to states with more economic and personal freedom and that economic freedom correlates with economic growth.