, Volume 34, Issue 3, pp 271-276
Date: 29 Jun 2011

An Introduction to the Special Issue on “Behavioural Economics, Consumer Policy, and Consumer Law”

This is an excerpt from the content

European consumer policy—coupled with the European Economic Constitution and European consumer law—is based on an assumption of rational-acting consumers and suppliers and is deeply rooted in the information paradigm. The information paradigm indicates that asymmetric information can be an impediment to welfare-enhancing consumer decision making. To improve the position of the consumer in markets, regulated information on products and services as well as on rights and remedies are seen as the key devices of consumer policy. The information paradigm suggests that there are consumers who are able, willing, and competent to deal with information provided, to read different languages, to take informed rational decisions and to enforce their information-based rights. Consumers are mostly regarded as individuals. The collective dimension of consumer law and consumer policy is largely set aside.

The philosophy behind this is that of Hammurabi, i.e., it suffices to write down the law and to mak ...