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

(Princeton University, 2014)

Book Forum
September 29, 2015
4:00PM to 5:30PM
Richard & Sue Ann Masson Policy Center
Featuring the author Omri Ben-Shahar, Professor of Law and Director, Coase-Sandor Institute for Law and Economics, University of Chicago; with comments by Paul Atkins, CEO, Patomak Global Partners, and former SEC Commissioner; and Andrew Stivers, Deputy Director, Consumer Protection, Federal Trade Commission; moderated by Thaya Brook Knight, Associate Director of Financial Regulation Studies, Cato Institute.

Americans swim daily in a sea of mandated disclosures. These disclosures accompany every trip to the doctor’s office, every credit card statement, every purchase of a song on your smartphone. Their intent is to transform every person into a well-informed consumer, able to make sound choices whether considering a range of medical treatments or a range of credit card features. But are the reams of information produced through mandated disclosures actually helpful? Are we making better choices? Is the enormous expense of compiling, distributing, and reviewing the information worth the benefit to the consumer? In their book, More Than You Wanted to Know: The Failure of Mandated Disclosure, law professors Omri Ben-Shahar and Carl E. Schneider conclude that these disclosures have utterly failed to achieve their goals and that widespread reliance on them is misplaced. Please join Professor Ben-Shahar and distinguished commentators for a spirited discussion of the use and misuse of mandated disclosure in our daily lives.