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Behavioral Economics: eine neue Grundlage für die Verbraucherpolitik?

Listed author(s):
  • Lucia A. Reisch
  • Andreas Oehler
Registered author(s):

    Consumer policy analysis and practice is largely embedded in the economic paradigm of neoclassical economics and its more recent forms (institutional economics, economics of information). However, there is increasing evidence that consumers not only fail to make optimal choices because of asymmetric information or suboptimal institutions, but that even well-informed, numerate and literate consumers exhibit systematic departures from rational behavior - making use of heuristics and being subject to biases. The homo oeconomicus is a theoretical archetype not found in real life, even though it is the basis for much demand-side regulation. By relying on experimental empirical research, behavioral economics may provide practical help in developing policies designed to affect consumer behavior. The paper discusses potentials and pitfalls for behavioral economics to be the base of a more effective consumer policy. Efforts in this direction undertaken by consumer policy actors worldwide (OECD, Australia, Great Britain, the German State of Baden-Württemberg) are sketched. Bis heute stellt das Paradigma der Neoklassik und ihrer neueren Formen (Institutionenökonomik, Informationsökonomik) die wichtigste theoretische Grundlage der Verbraucherpolitik dar. Heute sucht diese jedoch nach neuen, empirisch basierten Konzepten für ihre strategische Ausrichtung. Eine vielversprechende Entwicklung hat sich in jüngerer Zeit mit der Verhaltensökonomie (Behavioral Economics) ergeben. So interessieren sich das Committee on Consumer Policy der OECD, die Europäische Kommission sowie verschiedene Länder (Australien, Großbritannien, Baden- Württemberg) zunehmend für den Beitrag, den die Behavioral Economics für die Verbraucherpolitik leisten kann. Diese Forschungsrichtung untersucht, wie Menschen wirtschaftlich agieren. Sie verlässt die Modellannahme des rationalen homo oeconomicus und untersucht "Verhaltensanomalien", die das menschliche (Markt-)Verhalten prägen. Die Methoden der Behavioral Economics sind meist empirisch, häufi g experimentell. Eine Reihe von Verhaltenstendenzen, Entscheidungsregeln und "kognitiven Irrtümern" ("heuristics and biases") sind mittlerweile empirisch gut belegt. Der Beitrag untersucht, inwieweit sich die Erkenntnisse der Verhaltensökonomik als konzeptionelle Grundlage für Verbraucherpolitik eignen. Internationale Initiativen in diese Richtung werden skizziert.

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    Article provided by DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research in its journal Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung.

    Volume (Year): 78 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 3 ()
    Pages: 30-43

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    Handle: RePEc:diw:diwvjh:78-3-2
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    1. David Hirshleifer, 2008. "Psychological Bias as a Driver of Financial Regulation," European Financial Management, European Financial Management Association, vol. 14(5), pages 856-874.
    2. Waldo Tapia & Juan Yermo, 2007. "Implications of Behavioural Economics for Mandatory Individual Account Pension Systems," OECD Working Papers on Insurance and Private Pensions 11, OECD Publishing.
    3. Howard Beales, 2008. "Consumer Protection and Behavioral Economics: To BE or Not to BE?," CPI Journal, Competition Policy International, vol. 4.
    4. Mark Armstrong, 2008. "Interactions between Competition and Consumer Policy," CPI Journal, Competition Policy International, vol. 4.
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