Call for Papers for a Journal of Consumer Policy Special Issue

Behavioural Economics, Environmental Policy and the Consumer


During the first decade of this century, behavioural economics extended its applications in
both scope and scale. It has become a new way of approaching policy issues, adding to the
standard tools that policy makers had been using – with varying degrees of success – for a
long time. The promises and limits of “nudges” and “choice architecture” are now being tested
and discussed in many fields, environmental and sustainability policy as well as consumer
policy among them.

With respect to environmental and consumer policies, a great deal of thinking has been
based on the assumption that consumers and suppliers are rational actors. On this view,
consumers are able, willing, and competent to process information and to respond rationally
to it. At the same time, it has long been understood that asymmetric information can be an
impediment to welfare-enhancing – and environmentally sound - consumer decision making.
Behavioural economists have added new findings about how market participants actually
behave, how they deal with the information they receive, and what abilities they have to solve
optimisation problems. Moreover, behavioural economists explore heuristics, biases, and
“internalities” and thus people’s limitations in decision making (potentially including neglect of
the long-term and of the non-salient).

The Journal of Consumer Policy has a tradition of publishing scholarly work on the theory
and practice of politics and policies based on behavioural science, mainly social and cognitive
psychology, economic psychology and also behavioural law and economics. In 2011, the
Journal published a Special Issue focusing on “Behavioural Economics, Consumer Policy,
and Consumer Law – An interdisciplinary Perspective”. Following on this trajectory, the present
Call focuses on the increasingly discussed possibility of applying behavioural economics
to “nudge” consumer choice and behaviour in the domain of environmental protection.
We invite both conceptual and empirical papers with a variety of perspectives (including
both “pro” and “con”) and from a variety of disciplines.

The Journal strives to continue the interdisciplinary debate on Behavioural Economics and
Consumer Policy and will hence give priority to papers that develop concrete policy implications.
Papers have to be submitted before October 1st 2013 and according to the submission
and author guidelines available on the journal website. The publication of the Special
Issue is scheduled for March 2014 (Vol. 37, No. 1).

Special Issue Editors
Lucia A. Reisch (Copenhagen Business School, Denmark), Professor of Consumer Behaviour and Consumer Policy

Cass R. Sunstein (Harvard University and Harvard LawSchool, USA), Robert Walmsley University Professor


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The page was last edited by: CBS Sustainability // 02/27/2017