OECD Business and Finance Outlook 2019

Strengthening Trust in Business

image of OECD Business and Finance Outlook 2019

The OECD Business and Finance Outlook is an annual publication that presents unique data and analysis on the trends, both positive and negative, that are shaping tomorrow’s world of business, finance and investment. Using analysis from a wide range of perspectives, this year’s edition considers the importance of public trust in business and finance, offering a conceptual approach to understanding facets of trust in finance, investment and business with respect to economic value, fairness and integrity of conduct, as well as alignment with societal values. The Outlook provides an assessment of factors that contributed to a deterioration of trust during the Global Financial Crisis; reviews recent developments that could contribute to a renewed erosion of trust; and, offers policy considerations to help strengthen public trust in business and finance.



Trust and online markets

Online markets offer a host of benefits for consumers through innovative and low-cost products. However, online markets can only fulfil their potential if they benefit from consumer trust. Where product information is hard to obtain and assess, markets may not respond to consumer needs. Consumers may be forced to rely on imprecise indicators of quality—such as brand names—to establish trust. This, in turn, limits firms’ incentives to improve their offering and deters new entrants. In other cases, consumers may be deterred from using online markets altogether. Establishing an environment of trust in online markets requires multidisciplinary (and often cross-border) approaches from authorities charged with ensuring fair competition, consumer protection, and data protection, as well as other regulators. This chapter considers the benefits and risks associated with online markets from the perspective of trust.


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