Behavioural biases and information disclosure laws relating to residential property sales : narrowing the gap between existing laws and calls for future reforms

Christensen, Sharon A., Duncan, William D., & Stickley, Amanda P. (2009) Behavioural biases and information disclosure laws relating to residential property sales : narrowing the gap between existing laws and calls for future reforms. Queensland University of Technology Law and Justice Journal, 9(2), pp. 251-279.

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Market failures involving the sale of complex merchandise, such as residential property, financial products and credit, have principally been attributed to information asymmetries. Existing legislative and regulatory responses were developed having regard to consumer protection policies based on traditional economic theories that focus on the notion of the ‘rational consumer’. Governmental responses therefore seek to impose disclosure obligations on sellers of complex goods or products to ensure that consumers have sufficient information upon which to make a decision. Emergent research, based on behavioural economics, challenges traditional ideas and instead focuses on the actual behaviour of consumers. This approach suggests that consumers as a whole do not necessarily benefit from mandatory disclosure because some, if not most, consumers do not pay attention to the disclosed information before they make a decision to purchase. The need for consumer policies to take consumer characteristics and behaviour into account is being increasingly recognised by governments, and most recently in the policy framework suggested by the Australian Productivity Commission

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ID Code: 32485
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Consumer protection, Information disclosure, Real property
ISSN: 1445-6230
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (180000) > LAW (180100) > Property Law (excl. Intellectual Property Law) (180124)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2009 Queensland University of Technology and the Authors
Deposited On: 02 Jun 2010 21:43
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2017 14:43

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