The paper discusses the opportunities for an empirically grounded decision support system as an instrument for independent and scientifically based consumer policy consulting. To date, consumer policy is dominated by the information paradigm and the leitbild of the rational, sovereign and information-seeking consumer. Yet, both everyday practice and research in behavioural economics show that this view lacks empirical ground. In fact, there are different consumer types and different forms of rationalities at work. Effective consumer policy making should be based on the empirically revealed behaviour of consumers, not on an ideal model. Moreover, it is often not clear how much consumer policy measures actually contribute to the consumer interest, and whether there would be more effective and efficient policy instruments to strengthen the consumer position. The authors suggest introducing an empirically based “Check Consumer Policy and Consumer Participation” as a systematic decision and evaluation tool for policy makers. This check should be independent from the government and should be grounded on an empirical view of the consumer. Consumer policy tools should be tested with real consumers. The authors suggest an independent national “Expert Council for Consumer Policy” as an ideal candidate to supervise this work.
|Journal||Journal fuer Verbraucherschutz und Lebensmittelsicherheit|
|Publication status||Published - Jun 2013|