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Verbraucherberatung in Verbraucherzentralen: Orientierung an den Interessen der Verbraucher und Instrument zur Weiterentwicklung der Verbraucherpolitik


  • Eckhard Benner
  • Beate Weiser


Consumer advice should reduce asymmetric information between consumer and supplier as well as provide confidence in markets. However, consumer advice itself is characterised by asymmetric information between adviser and consumer. The article figures out this aspect and shows how consumers cope with this information situation under certain consumer policy conditions. For the sake of clarity it examplifies consumer advice by refering to the work of Verbraucherzentrale Baden- Württemberg e. V., a German consumer association. The article concludes with the recommendation, that consumer advice is useful for consumer policy only when granting consumers interest. Das verbraucherpolitische Instrument Verbraucherberatung soll die asymmetrische Informationsverteilung zwischen Verbrauchern und Unternehmen abbauen und Vertrauen in Märkte schaffen. Bei dieser Aufgabenstellung wird vernachlässigt, dass Verbraucherberatung selbst durch die asymmetrische Informationsverteilung zwischen Berater und Ratsuchendem gekennzeichnet ist. Der Beitrag arbeitet diesen Aspekt heraus und zeigt am Beispiel der Verbraucherberatung der Verbraucherzentralen und aus der Beratungspraxis der Verbraucherzentrale Baden-Württemberg e. V., auf welche Weise Verbraucherberatung verbraucherpolitisch genutzt werden kann.

Suggested Citation

  • Eckhard Benner & Beate Weiser, 2009. "Verbraucherberatung in Verbraucherzentralen: Orientierung an den Interessen der Verbraucher und Instrument zur Weiterentwicklung der Verbraucherpolitik," Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung / Quarterly Journal of Economic Research, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 78(3), pages 144-159.
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwvjh:78-3-9

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ippolito, Pauline M, 1990. "Bonding and Nonbonding Signals of Product Quality," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 63(1), pages 41-60, January.
    2. Darby, Michael R & Karni, Edi, 1973. "Free Competition and the Optimal Amount of Fraud," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(1), pages 67-88, April.
    3. Matthias Arkenstette, 2005. "Reorientation in Consumer Policy – Challenges and Prospects From the Perspective of Practical Consumer Advice Work," Journal of Consumer Policy, Springer, vol. 28(3), pages 361-370, September.
    4. Kornelia Hagen, 2008. "Verbraucherinformation und -beratung: Finanzierung umstritten," DIW Wochenbericht, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 75(21), pages 278-285.
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    More about this item


    Economics of information; consumer advice; consumer policy;

    JEL classification:

    • L31 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Nonprofit Institutions; NGOs; Social Entrepreneurship
    • L38 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Public Policy
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • H44 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Publicly Provided Goods: Mixed Markets
    • D11 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Theory
    • K0 - Law and Economics - - General


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