Articles on Consumers

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John F. Kennedy’s 1962 speech inspired the modern consumer rights movement. AP Photo/Bill Allen

Consumer rights are worthless without enforcement

JFK pushed consumer rights to the top of the national agenda in 1962, leading to a raft of new laws offering new protections. But without enforcement, such rights are meaningless.
The more laundry you do, the more you can save with efficient washers. Rawpixel/Shutterstock.com

Not all consumers are equal – in terms of what they save by using efficient appliances

People who use an appliance a lot save more from an energy efficient model. With the right app, they could easily get a sense of their own potential savings when they shop.
Research indicates that up to a third of all food is wasted – but also shows that anti-waste campaigns frequently backfire. Rick/Flickr

When anti-waste campaigns backfire

Research shows that campaigns that try to make consumers feel guilty about the amount they waste often make things worse, not better. A new study poins the way to more effective anti-waste campaigns.
Tariffs may help certain industries, but their broader impact on middle- and lower-income consumers is generally harmful. Reuters/Lawrence Bryant

How Trump’s trade war affects working-class Americans

The president says he's fighting his trade war because a generation of free trade has failed working-class Americans. An economist explains why tariffs will only make things worse.
“No Linky” posters in Montreuil, near Paris. The first one reads “Linky: You can say no.” The second reads “Linky spies on your private life.” Some residents fear data surveillance rather than looking at possible advantages of smart meters. Carole Salères

Linky: Do smart meters actually help reduce electricity consumption?

A recent study suggests that smart meters can help households reduce their electricity use by as much as 5%. Are France’s anti-Linky households listening?

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