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

In "More Than You Wanted to Know," Omri Ben-Shahar and Carl E. Schneider analyze the most common, and least useful, form of regulation used today—"mandated disclosure." These are laws that require one party to a transaction to give the other information. The authors collected evidence about mandated disclosure across a wide range of areas and found little evidence that disclosures have led people to better decisions. They conclude that disclosures people do not read and cannot use should not be mandated and oppose the search for another panacea to replace mandated disclosure.