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 John Z. Ayanian, Professor of Medicine and Health Care Policy, Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital; David Meltzer, Associate Professor of Medicine and Economics, University of Chicago; and Michael F. Cannon, Director of Health Policy Studies, Cato Institute.
It makes intuitive sense that President Obama’s health plan, which would expand health insurance coverage to an estimated 30 million currently uninsured Americans, would improve their health. But is it true? What does the evidence say about the effect between health insurance expansions and health? And what does that mean for the Obama plan?