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Competition

Integrating Consumer Behaviour Insights in Competition Enforcement

 

 24 June 2022  Paris

Market outcomes are determined by the interaction of demand and supply. Both sides of any market need to work effectively to lead to low prices, good quality and high levels of innovation. Traditionally, the focus of competition enforcement has been on models that assume that consumers know their preferences and use available information to make rational decisions. Behavioural economics goes beyond these assumptions and describes how people behave in reality and what biases may affect their decision making. The debate on behavioural biases has intensified with the rise of online transactions, in which consumer decisions can be influenced by the design and characteristics of websites and apps, by the presentation of critical information, or by the ranking of the results of online searches. Behavioural biases can be magnified as consumers make decisions quickly and process vast amounts of information in today’s online and mobile environment.

In June 2022, the OECD held a roundtable that to explore how competition authorities use behavioural insights in competition cases, while drawing from the expertise developed by consumer protection agencies and the OECD Committee on Consumer Policy (CCP). From the discussion, it was noted that competition authorities take behavioural insights into account while enforcing competition law, highlighting in which steps of the proceedings (from market definition to the design of optimal remedies) consumer behaviour has been relevant for the assessment.

The topic will be further discussed in future meetings, including a joint COMP/CCP workshop in 2023 on specific BI-related issues associated with dark patterns and online disclosures.

All related documentation is available on this page. 

See the full list of best practice roundtables on competition.

Invited Speakers

Matthew Bennett Bio  
Vice President, Charles River Associates

Dr. Charlotte Duke Bio  
Partner, London Economics

David Laibson Bio 
Professor, Harvard University

Chiara Varazzani Bio  
Lead Behavioural Scientist, OECD

Lauren Willis Bio 
Professor, LMU Loyola Law School

 

Documents
integrating-consumer-behavioural-insights-in-competition-enforcement-cover

OECD Background Note

Contributions from delegations

Summaries of contributions

Australia

BEUC

BIAC

Brazil

Canada

Chile

Costa Rica

Hungary

New Zealand

South Africa

United Kingdom

Ukraine

Presentations

Matthew Bennet

Charlotte Duke

David Laibson

Chiara Varazzani 

Lauren Willis

 

Related best practice roundtables

Consumer-facing remedies (2018)

Personalised pricing in the digital era (2018)

Quality considerations in the zero-price economy (2018) 

Competition and Behavioural Economics (2012)

See also

OECD Consumer Policy Toolkit (2010)

OECD E-commerce Recommendation (2016)

OECD Use of Behavioural Insights in Consumer Policy (2017)

OECD best practice roundtables on competition

More OECD work on competition 

OECD's Behavioural Insights Knowledge Hub

For more information about the work being accomplished by the OECD as well as other behavioural insights teams around the world, or to explore international case studies of BI applications in public policy, please visit the OECD's Behavioural Insights Knowledge Hub

  1. On the OECD Behavioural Insights Unit Map, you can explore BI units from around the world who are working with governments to apply BI to public policy.
  2. On the OECD Behavioural Insights Unit Project Repository, you can explore case studies of behavioural functions being applied to a wide range of policy areas. You can also add you own projects relating to BI or behavioural economics.

 

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