David Evans Makes the Case Against Revamping Consumer Protection

Economist, co-author, and sometimes TOTM guest David Evans (UCL, University of Chicago School of Law) has an excellent note on “Why Now is Not the Right Time To Revamp Consumer Protection,” based on remarks made at the New York Federal Reserve Board-New York University Conference on Regulating Consumer Financial Products yesterday in New York.  Evans makes some of the points we discuss in our joint work criticizing the intellectual basis for the Consumer Financial Protection Agency, but also offers a concise and powerful case against “revamping” consumer protection too hastily, or without attention to the institutional details or the economic evidence.  Geoff’s post the other day on credit card regulation, for example, points out precisely the types of harmful errors that can be made on “behalf” of consumers when invoking the behavioral economics literature without analyzing it (or the related empirical evidence) closely. Evans makes six essential points — and I’m excerpting here — but I suggest readers check out the whole thing…

Read the full piece here