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 J. Scott Marcus, Federal Communications Commission; Link Hoewing, Verizon; Brad Ramsay, National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners; Marilyn Cade, AT&T; and Jeff Pulver, Pulver.com.
Many Internet engineers and technologists have long dreamed about a day when voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) service, or “Internet telephony,” would supplement if not totally supplant, traditional analog, circuit-switched communications networks. This dream may soon become a reality as the VoIP service has blossomed and is increasingly being used by consumers to bypass traditional phone lines and regulations. The revolutionary impact of VoIP has not gone unnoticed by policy makers, however, as discussions are underway at the federal and state level about how to regulate Internet telephony as it grows more popular. Should VoIP be treated like traditional telecommunications services and regulated and taxed accordingly, or is a new regulatory regime in order? And can VoIP be regulated at all given the ubiquitous nature of Internet communications? These issues will be discussed by a diverse panel of industry experts.