Homo Economicus, Behavioural Sciences, and Economic Regulation: On the Concept of Man in Internal Market Regulation and Its Normative Basis

Jens-Uwe Franck and Kai Purnhagen, in: Klaus Mathis (ed.), Law and Economics in Europe, Springer 2014, 329-365.

EUI Working Papers LAW No. 2012/26;

33 Pages Posted: 28 Nov 2012 Last revised: 6 Jun 2015

See all articles by Jens-Uwe Franck

Jens-Uwe Franck

University of Mannheim - Department of Law

Kai P. Purnhagen

Wageningen University; Erasmus University of Rotterdam - Rotterdam Institute of Law and Economics

Date Written: November 1, 2012

Abstract

In the following paper we investigate how EU law conceptualizes the individual to whom internal market regulation is addressed. To this end, we take as an analytical point of departure a stylized information paradigm, whereby for reasons of internal market benefits, market players have to bear the burden of perceiving and processing information that is relevant in respect of an intended transaction, as well as disadvantages should they be ill-equipped to cope with this assignment. We will show that although it implemented the normative concept of a well-informed, observant and circumspect consumer, the ECJ never adopted such a stylized information paradigm. Moreover, we illustrate through various examples how the EU legislature assists market players in perceiving and processing information, and even seeks to steer their decision-making process. We reconsider whether or to what extent this should be understood as an advancement of an information paradigm or rather as a “behavioural turn.” We argue that only a differentiated approach that balances the internal market rationale with potentially conflicting rights meets the exigencies of EU law.

Keywords: EU law, internal market, information paradign, regulation

Suggested Citation

Franck, Jens-Uwe and Purnhagen, Kai Peter, Homo Economicus, Behavioural Sciences, and Economic Regulation: On the Concept of Man in Internal Market Regulation and Its Normative Basis (November 1, 2012). EUI Working Papers LAW No. 2012/26;. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2180895 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2180895

Jens-Uwe Franck (Contact Author)

University of Mannheim - Department of Law ( email )

Schloss Westflügel
Mannheim, 68131
Germany

Kai Peter Purnhagen

Wageningen University ( email )

Hollandseweg 1
Wageningen, 6706KN
Netherlands

Erasmus University of Rotterdam - Rotterdam Institute of Law and Economics ( email )

Burgemeester Oudlaan 50
PO box 1738
Rotterdam, 3000 DR
Netherlands

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