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The Ignored Manipulation of the Market: Commercial Advertising and Consumerism Require New Economic Theories and Policies

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  • Henk van Tuinen

Abstract

One of mainstream economic theory's blind spots is its neglect of the manipulation of preferences, for example through advertising. Another flaw concerns the market economy's ineffectiveness at increasing welfare in affluent societies. Indeed, a principle reason for this ineffectiveness is the loss in consumer sovereignty caused by the dominance of commercial preference manipulation. This article outlines a theory of preference manipulation, and describes a policy framework to restore consumer sovereignty by creating countervailing power against commercial manipulation. The suggested policy will improve the welfare outcomes of affluent economies and reconfigure the balance between consumerist and non-consumerist attitudes in modern democracies.

Suggested Citation

  • Henk van Tuinen, 2011. "The Ignored Manipulation of the Market: Commercial Advertising and Consumerism Require New Economic Theories and Policies," Review of Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(2), pages 213-231.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:revpoe:v:23:y:2011:i:2:p:213-231
    DOI: 10.1080/09538259.2011.561558
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