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 Tom Miller, Director, Health Policy Studies, Cato Institute.
Medicare suffers from multiple chronic conditions. Its Hospital Insurance Trust Fund just lost four more years of fiscal life expectancy. Overall spending for Medicare keeps growing faster than the economy. The benefit package remains out of date and fails to protect seniors against catastrophic costs. Medicare bureaucrats set the prices of thousands of services but know the market value of very few of them. On March 3 President Bush proposed a new framework for modernizing and improving Medicare, but he left most of the details to Congress. Will this year’s version of Medicare reform deliver market-based health care to seniors? Or will Medicare reform simply mean more money spent on an expanded version of the traditional program? Join Cato’s Tom Miller as he explains, not just where Medicare policy is headed, but where it should go.