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 Arnold Kling, author of Crisis of Abundance, Under the Radar: Starting Your Internet Business Without Venture Capital and Learning Economics and Adjunct Scholar, Cato Institute.
The uninsured are not the only problem our health care sector faces; powerful forces suppress the quality of care for insured and uninsured alike. Notably, Americans receive dangerously uncoordinated medical care. Most approaches to improving health care coordination rely on government-imposed top-down reforms, yet this very approach has suppressed coordination and other innovations in health care delivery. In the recent Cato Institute Briefing Paper “Does the Doctor Need a Boss?,” Arnold Kling and Michael F. Cannon explain that coordinated care requires free markets. They propose to let consumers control the money that purchases their health insurance and for policymakers to liberalize licensing laws–two steps that would enable consumers to pick health plans that coordinate rather than force consumers to sit and wait until policymakers finally get it right.