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Consumer Policy Toolkit

image of Consumer Policy Toolkit

The markets for goods and services have undergone significant changes over the past 20 years. Regulatory reform, global markets, new technologies and growth in the role of services in economic activity have driven the changes which, in many instances, have provided significant benefits to consumers. Relatively little attention has been paid to the challenges these developments have posed for consumers. More choice and more complexity in many markets have made it increasingly difficult for them to compare and assess the value of products and services. The challenges for consumers have raised similar challenges for the government authorities responsible for protecting them from unfair commercial practices and fraud.

This book 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.

English French

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Executive Summary

Consumers play a vital role in economies, accounting for more than 60% of the GDP of OECD countries. When they are empowered, consumers can improve economic performance by helping to drive competition and business innovation. This, however, requires an effective consumer policy regime in which consumers are protected from unfair marketplace practices, are in a position to make well-informed decisions and both business and consumers are aware of their rights and responsibilities.

English French

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