Consumer Expectations and Consumer Protection

65 Pages Posted: 18 Sep 2020

See all articles by Shayak Sarkar

Shayak Sarkar

University of California, Davis - School of Law

Date Written: July 15, 2020


Regulators go to considerable lengths to shape specific product choices — the homes we buy, which college we attend, how we save for retirement. Yet the primary governmental mechanism shaping consumer choice may be our general expectations — our reasons for purchasing a home or higher education at all. This is consumer law’s duality: consumers have great expectations, forged in part by the very same governmental actors that fashion legal mandates to protect them.

Divorced from conventional financial understandings, these great expectations are often premised on ideologies such as “property as masculinity” and “higher education as equal opportunity.” This Article describes how the administration of these expectations — in higher education, home-ownership, and retirement savings — limits the efficacy of consumer protection law’s already problematic focus on disclosure.

Keywords: consumer protection, disclosure, higher education, homeowner ship, student loans, retirement, savings

JEL Classification: K20, I22, I23, I24, R28, J32

Suggested Citation

Sarkar, Shayak, Consumer Expectations and Consumer Protection (July 15, 2020). 88 George Washington Law Review 949 (2020), Available at SSRN:

Shayak Sarkar (Contact Author)

University of California, Davis - School of Law ( email )

Martin Luther King, Jr. Hall
Davis, CA CA 95616-5201
United States

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