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Journal of Consumer Policy

, Volume 8, Issue 4, pp 353–372 | Cite as

Framework for regulation of the consumer marketplace

  • Iain Ramsay
Articles

Abstract

Recent critiques of the costs, effectiveness, and potential inequities in consumer protection measures have drawn attention to the need for a coherent normative framework for consumer protection. This paper sketches therefore a framework for government intervention in the marketplace to protect consumers' economic interests.

After outlining the overarching objectives of consumer protection, namely the improvement of economic efficiency and equity, it documents the two main failures in consumer markets, information and high enforcement costs. Discussion is then focused on the relevance of the recent “economics of information” literature and its implications in consumer protection. Finally, there is a brief discussion of equity rationales. The article concludes by drawing out the general policy implications of the approach adopted in the paper.

Keywords

Economic Efficiency Consumer Protection Recent Critique Consumer Market General Policy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Zur Regulierung von Konsumgütermärkten

Zusammenfassung

Die neuere Kritik an den Kosten, an der Wirksamkeit und an den potentiellen Ungerechtigkeiten verbraucherpolitischer Instrumente macht deutlich, daß ein systematischer normativ-theoretischer Hintergrund für die Verbraucherpolitik nötig ist. Allgemeine Hinweise auf unausgewogene Marktmacht reichen im nach-regulatorischen Stadium nicht mehr aus.

Der vorliegende Beitrag umreißt daher einen Rahmen für staatliche Intervention auf M:arkten zum Schutz des Verbraucherinteresses. Zunächst werden die Verbesserung sowohl der ökonomischen Effizienz als auch der Gleichrangigkeit als die beiden Hauptziele der Verbraucherpolitik und ihre Beziehungen untereinander angesprochen. Es folgt eine Behandlung der Interventionsbegründungen unter dem Gesichtspunkt der Effizienz mit einer Diskussion der neueren Literatur zur Informationsökonomie in ihrer Bedeutung für die Identifizierung von Informationsunzulänglichkeiten zuf Konsumgütermärkten und eine Behandlung der Interventionsbegründungen unter dem Gesichtspunkt der Gleichrangigkeit.

Als Schlußfolgerung ergibt sich, daß Interventionen in höherem Maße markt- und produkt-spezifisch sein sollten; dies muß mit der Forderung nach längerfristiger Klarheit und Vorhersagbarkeit von Regelungen und Standards in Einklang gebracht werden. Abschließend wird darauf hingewiesen, daß trotz aller rationaler Rechtfertigungen, die der Beitrag liefert, die Entscheidung zur Intervention im Kern politischer Natur ist.

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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Iain Ramsay

There are no affiliations available

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