“More choice and more complexity in many markets have made it increasingly difficult for consumers to compare and assess the value of products and services,” says Michael Jenkin, Chairman of the OECD’s Committee on Consumer Policy.
The OECD publication "Consumer Policy Toolkit" examines how markets have evolved and provides insights for improved consumer policy making. It explores, for the first time, how what we have learned through the study of behavioural economics is changing the way policy makers are addressing problems.
Chapter 1. The changing consumer and market landscape What are the key trends characterising markets and consumers?
Chapter 2. The economics of consumer policy What is the basic economics underlying consumer policy? How the behavioural economics can be used to improve understanding of consumer decisions?
Chapter 3. Identifying and analysing consumer market problems What is the consumer detriment? How markets can be screened to detect problems where detriment may be present? How market problems can be analysed and how detriment can be measured?
Chapter 4. Consumer policy instruments What consumer policy instruments can be highly effective? How policy makers can identify, evaluate and test the most promising tools?
Chapter 5. Policy decision making Is there an effective consumer policy framework that policy makers can use? What are the implications for consumer policy making?
David MAIR, Head of Consumer Markets Unit,DG SANCO, European Commission “The Toolkit presents policy instruments, ranging from consumer empowerment tools (such as information or education) towards obligations on firms (through product standards or regulations). The publication is based on new insights of behavioural and information economics that could be helpful for all policy makers, considering whether to intervene on the market and if so, how to do it.”
from the business community
Nicole PRIMMER, Senior Policy Manager,BIAC “Business very much welcomes this publication, particularly because of its comprehensive approach, in that it identifies the key roles of stakeholders and addresses very complex issues that are involved in the consumer policy making. It also underlines the important role of industry-led regulation in the context of consumer protection.”
Saeed EL ALFI, Chairman, Consumer Protection Agency, Egypt “Nowadays, markets evolve rapidly due to global trade, the development and transfer of new technologies and services, and strong competition. Facing those challenges, consumer policy makers need to act quicker and be more persistent. The OECD and this Toolkit enable us share views and ideas, particularly from developed to developing nations, placing the interest of consumers at the core of policy making.”
The Toolkit helps governments to eliminate barriers to competition by providing a method for identifying unnecessary restraints on market activities and developing alternative, less restrictive measures that still achieve government policy objectives.
This report provides an account of the actions the 41 adhering governments have taken over the 12 months to June 2009 to enhance the contribution of the Guidelines to the improved functioning of the global economy. In nine years, the Guidelines have consolidated their position as one of the world's principal corporate responsibility instruments as recently acknowledged at the 2009 OECD Ministerial meeting and G8 l'Aquila Summit. This 2009 edition includes the results of the 2009 OECD Roundtable on Corporate Responsibility entitled "Consumer Empowerment and Responsible Business Conduct".
Consumers today are challenged by growing amounts of information and Policy instrument update: Mexico (2011) wider choices of products, requiring them to develop skills and knowledge for making good choices in complex markets. This publication examines the approaches that governments use to promote consumer education in OECD and some non-OECD countries, highlighting the policies and measures that have been particularly effective. It also analyses recent trends, the role of stakeholders, steps being taken to evaluate the effectiveness of current programmes and the principal challenges.
This report summarises the discussions of the second roundtable, held in October 2006, which again brought together academics and public officials concerned with market failures in markets where competition is deemed effective. It considered the economic theories of information disclosure and focussed on two major industry sectors – telecommunications and financial services. In addition, a proposed programme for further action, including the development of a “toolkit” to guide demand-side policy developments, was introduced.
This report summarises the discussions held at a roundtable hosted by the CCP in October 2005. The roundtable brought together leading academics, senior government officials and consumer representatives from OECD member countries to explore developments in economic research, particularly behavioural economics, focusing on the role played by consumers in relation to the efficiency of markets. Recognising that policy makers have tended to analyse the structure of the market rather than the extent to which consumers' behaviour shapes its outcomes, the Committee explored the extent to which economists' studies of the demand-side of markets might be able to contribute further to consumer policy.