Behavioral economic analysis of law (or behavioral law and economics) and paternalistic interference
This chapter offers insight into behavioral economic analysis of law (BEAL). This new movement began in the United States and has spread throughout Europe; it has particularly influenced modern German legal thinking and theory, on which I place considerable emphasis in an attempt to span both the U.S. and Continental way of thinking and the relevant literature. The practical application of the interdisciplinary assumptions of this new methodological movement is most common in the field of consumer protection law. BEAL brings forward the cognitive or volitional weaknesses that appear systematically in certain population groups and transactional situations. These weaknesses sometimes reach such an intensity or extent that the legal order cannot turn a blind eye to them; instead, it must take action with a view to securing individual and societal welfare. Especially in the field of consumer protection law, the assumptions and findings of behavioral economics chiefly entail the articulation of de lege ferenda proposals for the introduction of better, more efficient regulatory instruments.