During the past decade, academics – predominantly scholars of behavioral law and economics – have increasingly turned to the claimed insights of behavioral economics in order to craft novel policy proposals in many fields, most significantly consumer credit regulation. Over the same period, these ideas have also gained traction with policymakers, resulting in a variety of legislative efforts, such as the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Most recently, the efforts of behavioral law and economics scholars have been directed toward challenging a number of state laws that regulate retailers’ use of surcharge fees for consumer credit card payments. In part as a result of these efforts, the issue has come before multiple courts with varying outcomes. In this article, we examine the merits of that effort. Claims about the realworld application of behavioral economic theories should not be uncritically accepted, and this is especially true when such claims are advanced to challenge a state’s commercial regulation on constitutional grounds. And courts should be particularly careful before relying on such claims where the available evidence fails to support them.
Todd J. Zywicki, Geoffrey A. Manne, and Kristian Stout,
Behavioral Economics Goes to Court: The Fundamental Flaws in the Behavioral Law & Economics Arguments Against No-Surcharge Laws,
82 Mo. L. Rev.
Available at: http://scholarship.law.missouri.edu/mlr/vol82/iss3/13