Research Methods in Consumer Law
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Research Methods in Consumer Law

A Handbook

Edited by Hans-W. Micklitz, Anne-Lise Sibony and Fabrizio Esposito

Consumer law is worthy of greater academic attention at a time when many new questions arise and old ones need new answers. This unique handbook takes the reader on a journey through existing literature, research questions and methods. It builds on the state of the art to offer a springboard for jumping to the heart of contemporary issues and equips researchers with a starter’s kit to weave together rich traditions, ranging from socio-economics to behavioural analysis.
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Chapter 15: The politics of behavioural economics of law

Hans-W. Micklitz

Abstract

Hans-W. Micklitz searches for the politics of behavioural economics of law. This implies a need to place behavioural law and economics into context – historically, politically, philosophically, theoretically and methodologically. The overall argument is that it is economic efficiency that stands predominantly behind behavioural law and economics, insinuates a value change away from the social and from the role of law, affects the autonomy of the individual and disconnects her from the society. Behavioural law and economics is more than a research tool; it is a normative theory if not a social theory. Therefore, the politics of behavioural law and economics can and should be read as a first attempt to formulate a critical theory on the behavioural analysis of law that reduces law to economic efficiency and cognitive psychology, forgetting about the sociology of law. Only an opening towards the society and the sociology of law – this is the conclusion – can demonstrate the added value of behavioural law and economics.

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