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


  • Henk van Tuinen


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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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Carl Chiarella & Roberto Dieci & Xue-Zhong He, 2008. "Heterogeneity, Market Mechanisms, and Asset Price Dynamics," Research Paper Series 231, Quantitative Finance Research Centre, University of Technology, Sydney.
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    5. Jan Kregel, 2008. "Minsky’s Cushions of Safety: Systemic Risk and the Crisis in the U.S. Subprime Mortgage Market," Economics Public Policy Brief Archive ppb_93, Levy Economics Institute.
    6. Claude Gnos & Louis-Philippe Rochon, 2011. "Credit, Money and Macroeconomic Policy. A Post Keynesian Approach," Post-Print halshs-01231787, HAL.
    7. Vercelli,Allessandro, 1991. "Methodological Foundations of Macroeconomics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521392945, March.
    8. Jan Toporowski, 2008. "Minsky's 'induced investment and business cycles'," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 32(5), pages 725-737, September.
    9. Sordi, Serena & Vercelli, Alessandro, 2006. "Financial fragility and economic fluctuations," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 61(4), pages 543-561, December.
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