Promoting consumers’ rights, prosperity, and wellbeing are core values of the European Union. A wide array of laws, institutions, and regulations – which can be generally termed as consumer policies – aim at protecting consumers by ensuring adequate and truthful information in the marketplace as well as preventing firms from engaging in unfair and competition-impairing practices. While some of these policies directly affect consumers, for instance consumer protection and dissuasive taxation, others only indirectly benefit consumers by governing market functions through regulation and competition policies. The interactions between these different policies are not yet fully understood. The aim of the Berlin Centre for Consumer Policies (BCCP) is to create an enduring international platform in the broad area of competition and consumer policies, where excellent interdisciplinary research can actively and effectively inform policy makers on issues that are highly relevant to the current policy debate.
The Centre can build on the existing, strong, visible, and interdisciplinary cooperation among the two Leibniz institutes DIW Berlin and WZB, several faculties of the three universities Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Freie Universität Berlin, and Technische Universität Berlin, the European School of Management and Technology (ESMT), and the Hertie School of Governance.
The strong focus of the partner institutions in industrial organization, behavioral economics and competition law, as well as a strong policy focus makes Berlin the perfect location for a ScienceCampus focused on consumer policies. The main goal of BCCP is to fully exploit, reinforce, and institutionalize this exceptional environment to answer specific questions on the optimal design of consumer policies.