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Interactions between competition and consumer policy

Armstrong, M.; (2008) Interactions between competition and consumer policy. (Discussion Papers in Economics 08-01). Department of Economics, University College London: London, UK.

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Abstract

This paper discusses complementarities and tensions between competition policies and consumer protection policies. The paper argues that markets will often supply adequate customer protection without the need for extra public intervention. Special areas where intervention might be needed are discussed, including the need to combat deceptive marketing and the need to provide additional market transparency (about both headline prices and shrouded product attributes). A few instances are presented of how more intense competition can worsen the outcomes for some consumers. Situations in which poorly designed consumer policies can harm consumers are discussed, including how they can be used to protect incumbent suppliers, how they can relax competition between oligopolists, how they can reduce consumer choice, how they can focus on one aspect of market performance at the expense of others, and how they can lead consumers to take insufficient care in the market.

Type: Working / discussion paper
Title: Interactions between competition and consumer policy
Publisher version: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/silva/economics/research/pape...
Language: English
Additional information: Please also see http://eprints.ucl.ac.uk/7634
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of SandHS > Dept of Economics
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/7705
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