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Business Organizations Law

Notre Dame Law School

2018

Market failures

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Regulating Complacency: Human Limitations And Legal Efficacy, Steven L. Schwarcz Mar 2018

Regulating Complacency: Human Limitations And Legal Efficacy, Steven L. Schwarcz

Notre Dame Law Review

This Article examines how insights into limited human rationality can improve financial regulation. The Article identifies four categories of limitations—herd behavior, cognitive biases, overreliance on heuristics, and a proclivity to panic—that undermine the perfect-market regulatory assumptions that parties have full information and will act in their rational self-interest. The Article then analyzes how insights into these limitations can be used to correct resulting market failures. Requiring more robust disclosure and due diligence, for example, can help to reduce reliance on misleading information cascades that motivate herd behavior. Debiasing through law, such as requiring more specific, poignant, and concrete ...