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SUMMARY REPORT ON THE FTC BEHAVIORAL ECONOMICS CONFERENCE

By Joseph P. Mulholland

Abstract

leading researchers from various fields to present and discuss empirical research on consumer behavior and its relevance to consumer protection policy. 2 The conference was organized around four basic themes, all with a public policy focus: 1) policy decision rules: how should regulators decide among consumer protection policy options? 2) the role of advertising and other marketing techniques in consumer decisionmaking; 3) mandated disclosures: how consumers process information and how it affects their purchase decisions; and 4) research into how consumers make decisions regarding phone plans and credit cards, especially in reaction to their usage own patterns. Particular emphasis was placed on the rapidly growing field of Behavioral Economics, which uses insights from psychological research to identify ways in which consumers sometimes fail to behave in their own best interests, due to such behavioral traits as self-control problems, failure to process information objectively, and mispredictions about the costs and benefits of prospective choices. Behavioral economics has a long history and has been applied most frequently to finance issues, where research findings have been used to explain stock market anomalies, variations in the impact of different default rules for investors, and othe

Year: 2013
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