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.
From a patient’s point of view, the ideal health insurance policy would offer unlimited access to medical services at no charge. Unfortunately, it is not feasible to offer this to everyone. The key to sustainable health care reform is restraining the use of services that have high costs and low benefits. How will a government-funded system restrain spending? Why might a market-oriented alternative be attractive? Please join Cato scholar Arnold Kling to examine the challenges facing health reformers and the feasibility of alternative proposals.