Protecting Consumers from Themselves: A Guide for Policy-Makers

(2016) 24 Competition & Consumer Law Journal

22 Pages Posted: 1 Apr 2019

See all articles by Kate Tokeley

Kate Tokeley

Victoria University of Wellington - Faculty of Law

Date Written: 2016

Abstract

The latest findings in the field of behavioural economics suggest that consumers often make seemingly irrational choices that decrease their welfare. A crucial question for policy-makers is whether paternalistic laws designed to protect consumers from making these ‘poor’ choices are ever justifiable. This article provides a decision-making framework for policy-makers to use when attempting to answer this question in respect of any given paternalistic intervention. It recommends a multi-factorial approach to determining legitimacy followed by a second step of assessing likely effectiveness and considering unintended consequences.

Keywords: paternalism, consumers

Suggested Citation

Tokeley, Kate, Protecting Consumers from Themselves: A Guide for Policy-Makers (2016). (2016) 24 Competition & Consumer Law Journal, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3042986

Kate Tokeley (Contact Author)

Victoria University of Wellington - Faculty of Law ( email )

PO Box 600
Wellington, 6140
New Zealand

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