À qui se fier : à la publicité ou à des experts au-dessus de tout soupçon ?
Once households start loosing confidence in their economic future, they get increasingly concerned by the net utility of their consumption expenditures. Yet, ex-ante estimation of the value-for-money, that they expect to derive from their purchases and choices, may be a costly exercise ? if only, time-wise ?, which most often they cannot afford. Rather than experimenting by themselves, on their own, by successive trials and errors, they tend to turn to cheaper efficiency indicators of products and services provided by advertisements or more neutral sources, such as experts? reports edited by consumers? unions. Reviewing a very simple case, we unfortunately demonstrate that this second ? allegedly more reliable ? type of information may not be more dependable than the first, mainly because of the complexity of multi-attribute evaluations but perhaps also because of a lack of means to guarantee the representativeness of their quality control measurements. While advertisers are challenged by their competitors and are thus forced to be extremely cautious in rationally justifying their superiority claims 2, consumers? organizations operate in a monopolistic environment enjoying, like the press because of their status of countervailing power, more degrees of freedom. For these reasons, we recommend that their comparative testing procedures be certified and regularly audited by public authorities ; we also urge them to spontaneously become more methodologically transparent.
Volume (Year): XLVII (2008)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.cairn.info/revue-reflets-et-perspectives-de-la-vie-economique.htm|
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cai:rpvedb:rpve_472_0019. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Jean-Baptiste de Vathaire)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.