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 the coauthor Daron Acemoglu, Killian Professor of Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; with comments by Karla Hoff, Senior Research Economist, Development Economics Group, World Bank; moderated by Ian Vasquez, Director, Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity, Cato Institute.
Institutions — not geography, culture, or other factors — explain why some nations succeed and others fail. So says Daron Acemoglu in an ambitious new book drawing evidence from thousands of years of human history and from societies as diverse as those of the Inca Empire, 17th century England, and contemporary Botswana. Inclusive political and economic institutions, influenced by critical junctures in history, produce virtuous cycles that reinforce pluralism in the market and in politics. Acemoglu will contrast that pattern of development with that experienced under extractive institutions. He will also describe the conditions under which institutions favorable or inimical to development tend to arise. Karla Hoff will provide critical comments.