Regulatory Techniques in Consumer Protection: A Critique of European Consumer Contract Law

18 Pages Posted: 16 May 2012 Last revised: 13 Jul 2013

Oren Bar-Gill

Harvard Law School

Omri Ben-Shahar

University of Chicago Law School

Date Written: June 1, 2012

Abstract

This Article classifies the consumer protection techniques that European contract law employs into four categories: Mandatory arrangements; disclosure; regulation of entry to and exit from contracts; and pro-buyer default rules and contract interpretation. It argues that these techniques are far less likely to succeed than advocates, including the European Commission, believe, and that they may bring about unintended consequences and hurt consumers. The techniques and their limits are illustrated through a study of the proposed Common European Sales Law (CESL). The Article argues that the ambitious pursuit of consumer protection goals is also likely to interfere with the other main goals of European contract law: harmonizing the laws of member states, encouraging cross border trade, and improving consumers’ access to markets.

Suggested Citation

Bar-Gill, Oren and Ben-Shahar, Omri, Regulatory Techniques in Consumer Protection: A Critique of European Consumer Contract Law (June 1, 2012). Common Market Law Review, Vol. 50, p. 109, 2013; NYU Law and Economics Research Paper No. 12-12; University of Chicago Institute for Law & Economics Olin Research Paper No. 598. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2061148 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2061148

Oren Bar-Gill

Harvard Law School ( email )

1575 Massachusetts
Hauser 406
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Omri Ben-Shahar (Contact Author)

University of Chicago Law School ( email )

1111 E. 60th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Paper statistics

Downloads
1,278
Rank
11,523
Abstract Views
3,773