Oehler, A. & S. WendtGood consumer information: The information paradigm at its (dead) end?

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Andreas Oehler & Stefan Wendt

Release date:
June 2017

Journal of Consumer Policy 40, forthcoming

The traditional information paradigm postulates that increasing the amount of information and establishing full transparency help consumers with their decisions. We challenge this assumption and address criteria that good consumer information needs to fulfill. Based on the findings from research in behavioral economics and finance, necessary conditions for good consumer information include transparency, comprehensibleness, and comparability, whereas quality – in terms of clarity, fit to personal needs, and verifiability – represents the sufficient condition for good consumer information. Information that consumers currently receive hardly fulfills these conditions which, in turn, considerably hampers the trustworthiness and usability of this information. To mitigate consumers’ information problem and to recover the idea of the information paradigm, we suggest to extend the information model and to integrate the idea of collective consumers, to establish product testing principles, and to implement controlled minimum standard for (financial) products.

Link to publication