More Than You Wanted to Know: The Failure of Mandated Disclosure

More Than You Wanted to Know: The Failure of Mandated Disclosure

by Omri Ben-Shahar, Carl E. Schneider
     
 

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Perhaps no kind of regulation is more common or less useful than mandated disclosure—requiring one party to a transaction to give the other information. It is the iTunes terms you assent to, the doctor's consent form you sign, the pile of papers you get with your mortgage. Reading the terms, the form, and the papers is supposed to equip you to choose your

Overview

Perhaps no kind of regulation is more common or less useful than mandated disclosure—requiring one party to a transaction to give the other information. It is the iTunes terms you assent to, the doctor's consent form you sign, the pile of papers you get with your mortgage. Reading the terms, the form, and the papers is supposed to equip you to choose your purchase, your treatment, and your loan well. More Than You Wanted to Know surveys the evidence and finds that mandated disclosure rarely works. But how could it? Who reads these disclosures? Who understands them? Who uses them to make better choices?

Omri Ben-Shahar and Carl Schneider put the regulatory problem in human terms. Most people find disclosures complex, obscure, and dull. Most people make choices by stripping information away, not layering it on. Most people find they can safely ignore most disclosures and that they lack the literacy to analyze them anyway. And so many disclosures are mandated that nobody could heed them all. Nor can all this be changed by simpler forms in plainer English, since complex things cannot be made simple by better writing. Furthermore, disclosure is a lawmakers' panacea, so they keep issuing new mandates and expanding old ones, often instead of taking on the hard work of writing regulations with bite.

Timely and provocative, More Than You Wanted to Know takes on the form of regulation we encounter daily and asks why we must encounter it at all.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Because consumers continue to overlook mandated disclosures, opting instead to scroll quickly through screen after screen of seemingly irrelevant legalese, this book by Ben-Shahar and Schneider is especially pertinent."Choice

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781400850389
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
04/20/2014
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
240
File size:
3 MB

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Omri Ben-Shahar is the Leo and Eileen Herzel Professor of Law at the University of Chicago. His books include Boilerplate: The Foundation of Market Contracts. Carl E. Schneider is the Chauncey Stillman Professor of Law and professor of medicine at the University of Michigan. His books include The Practice of Autonomy: Patients, Doctors, and Medical Decisions.

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