Do People Like Mandatory Rules? The Impact of Framing and Phrasing

39 Pages Posted: 2 Feb 2020 Last revised: 15 May 2020

See all articles by Eyal Zamir

Eyal Zamir

Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Faculty of Law

Ori Katz

Hebrew University of Jerusalem, School of Law, Students

Date Written: January 24, 2020

Abstract

Market regulation has traditionally focused on disclosure duties — yet mounting evidence questions their effectiveness. The efficacy of nudges is similarly doubted, especially when suppliers counter their effects. Consequently, there is growing interest in mandatory regulation of the content of contracts. Previous studies have examined public opinion about nudges, but not about mandatory rules.

We explore how the formulation of mandatory rules might affect their judged desirability, focusing on the choices: (1) between negative and positive formulation; and (2) between merely establishing substantive mandatory rules, and supervising the wording of the contract as well. We also examine laypersons’ general attitude toward mandatory rules.

We report the results of four studies, conducted with a representative sample of 968 U.S. adults and 795 M-Turk master workers. Contrary to our conjecture, we found that subjects generally judged wording rules as more desirable than merely substantive ones, and positive rules as more desirable than negative ones. There also appears to be strong support for pro-customer mandatory rules, even among conservative. These results arguably legitimize more, and more effective, mandatory rules. They also suggest that the relative paucity of mandatory rules in U.S. law is not due to public opposition to them, but to other reasons.

Keywords: Mandatory rules, Framing, Contract regulation, Consumer contracts

JEL Classification: D03, D18, K12

Suggested Citation

Zamir, Eyal and Katz, Ori, Do People Like Mandatory Rules? The Impact of Framing and Phrasing (January 24, 2020). Law and Social Inquiry, Forthcoming, Hebrew University of Jerusalem Legal Research Paper No. 20-08, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3525659

Eyal Zamir (Contact Author)

Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Faculty of Law ( email )

Mount Scopus
Mount Scopus, IL 91905
Israel
+972 2 582 3845 (Phone)
+972 2 582 9002 (Fax)

Ori Katz

Hebrew University of Jerusalem, School of Law, Students ( email )

Jerusalem
Israel

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
70
Abstract Views
328
rank
386,218
PlumX Metrics