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Ökonomische Thesen zur Repräsentation von Verbraucherinteressen in Deutschland

  • Andreas Zahn
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    The representation of consumer interests in Germany shows an insufficient consumer participation. Coincidentally, the political decision making process profits too little from the informative function of consumer interest groups. This article will demonstrate on the basis of current case studies the consequences both for the legitimisation of interest representation and possible false conclusions on the level of consumer protection. Consumer representation requires the knowledge of consumer interests. Taking an increased heterogeneity of the preferences into consideration, it is particularly important to carry out a target-orientated preference identification to deduce a frame for political decisions beyond a normative fundamental consensus. In doing so, the possibilities of new communication instruments should be considered. One should also create incentives to collect and to provide information on the level of institutions close to consumers. This mix of actions would allow for a more legitimate representation of consumer interests and also a differentiated composition of consumer protection instruments. Die Repräsentation von Verbraucherinteressen in Deutschland weist eine unzureichende Beteiligung der Verbraucher auf. Gleichzeitig wird die Informationsfunktion von Repräsentanten im politischen Entscheidungsprozess zu wenig genutzt. Die daraus resultierenden Legitimationsprobleme der Interessenvertretung sowie mögliche Fehlschlüsse bei der Determinierung des verbraucherpolitischen Schutzniveaus werden anhand aktueller Fallbeispiele aufgezeigt. Repräsentation erfordert die Kenntnis der Interessen der Verbraucher. Angesichts der Heterogenität der Interessen ist zur Konkretisierung eines Entscheidungsrahmens, der über einen normativen Grundkonsens der Verbraucherinteressen hinausgeht, in der Praxis eine direkte lösungsorientierte Präferenzermittlung erforderlich. Dazu sollten insbesondere auch die Möglichkeiten neuer Kommunikations- und Partizipationsprozesse genutzt werden. Es sollten aber ebenso Anreize zur Informationserhebung und -bereitstellung für verbrauchernahe Institutionen geschaffen werden. Dieser Maßnahmenmix würde eine legitimiertere Repräsentation der Interessen und eine differenzierte bedarfsgerechte Instrumentgestaltung des Verbraucherschutzes erlauben.

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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: 63-80

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    Handle: RePEc:diw:diwvjh:78-3-4
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