Dictionary of Arguments

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Mause I 475f
Consumption/Economic Theory: Consumption may appear as an individual act of buying. But consumption is actually a complex phenomenon of institutions, norms and actions (Haupt and Torp 2009) (1).
Despite all the differences in detail, the interests and needs of consumers are also collective interests or group interests that can be distinguished from provider interests. Legislators can impose rules on companies to serve the interests of consumers. See consumer policy/economic theories.
Asymmetry: the economic balance between supply and demand postulated in economic theory is not reflected in a political balance between suppliers and consumers. Although consumer interests are so important for the economic cycle, they are considered "weak interests". Reason: they are so general that everyone would benefit from a product improvement. This leads to the "free rider problem". (2)
Free riders: People who do not contribute to the costs are not excluded from consumption in certain cases. Example: Social Goods (Public Goods).
Consumer protection/consumer interests: this makes it so difficult to organise the interests of consumers as well as those of businesses. (3)



1. Haupt, Heinz-Gerhard, und Claudius Torp, Die Konsumgesellschaft in Deutschland 1890– 1990. Ein Handbuch. Frankfurt a. M. 2009.
2. Mancur Olson, The logic of collective action. Public goods and the theory of groups. Cambridge 2003.
3.Bernd Stauss, Verbraucherinteressen. Gegenstand, Legitimation und Organisation. Stuttgart 1980.


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Economic Theories
Mause I
Karsten Mause
Christian Müller
Klaus Schubert,
Politik und Wirtschaft: Ein integratives Kompendium Wiesbaden 2018


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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2019-03-25
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