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2 J. Consumer Pol'y 1 (1978)

handle is hein.journals/jrncpy2 and id is 1 raw text is: I
Claes-Robert Julander
Evaluation of a Voluntary Labeling System in the Swedish
Furniture Market
Informative Warenkennzeichnung fur Mabel: Bewertung eines freiwilligen schwedischen Systems.
Informative Warenkennzeichnung ist ein Instrument der Verbraucherinformation, das nach wie vor
vielfaltige Anwendung findet. Jedoch ist wenig nber den Einflufl bekannt, den solche produktbegleiten-
den Informationen tatsachlich auf das Verhalten von Verbrauchern, Zwischenhandlern und Herstellern in
den betroffenen Markten haben; noch weniger ist uber ihren Einflug auf die Zufriedenheit von
Verbrauchern bekannt. Der vorliegende Beitrag berichtet die Ergebnisse empirischer Studien uber die
Reaktionen von Anbietern und Nachfragern auf ein freiwilliges Warenkennzeichnungssystem fur Mobel.
Dieses Kennzeichnungssystem wurde im Jahre 1973 auf dem schwedischen Mobelmarkt eingefihrt. Die
Ergebnisse zeigen, daft sowohl Ksufer wie auch Verkaufer und Hersteller von Mbbeln nur in sehr
begrenztem Ausmage von dem System Gebrauch machen. Der Grund dafir durfte sein, dag die
Informationsnachfrage von Mobelkjufern nach den Inhalten dieses Kennzeichnungssystems gering ist,
und somit fur die Hersteller und Handler nur ein schwacher Anreiz besteht, das System zu dbernehmen.
Auf der Grundlage dieser empirischen Ergebnisse wird die Nutzlichkeit freiwilliger informativer Waren-
kennzeichnungssysteme als verbraucherpolitisches Instrument diskutiert.
Informative labeling has been and still is a widely used instrument by consumer protection agencies.
There is little known about how informative labels affect the behavior of consumers, retailers, and
producers in markets in which they are disseminated and even less is known about their effects upon
consumer satisfaction. In this paper results from empirical studies on consumers' and sellers' reactions to
a voluntary labeling system, Facts about Furniture, are presented. This labeling system was introduced on
the Swedish furniture market in 1973. The results show that consumers as well as producers and retailers
use the system to a rather limited extent. The reason for this seems to be that consumers do not demand
the information contained on the label and as consumer demand is low, the incitement for producers and
retailers to use the system is also small. With the empirical results as background, the usefulness of
voluntary informative labeling systems as an instrument in consumer policy is discussed.
The use of informative labeling systems has been, and still is, a widely used
measure by institutions and governmental agencies concerned with consumer affairs
- both in Sweden and in many other countries (cf OECD, 1972, and Varudeklara-
tionsutredningen, 1973). As Varudeklarationsutredningen (1973) shows - a report
from a Swedish Government Commission concerned with informative labeling
- informative labels have been used in Sweden for many different product groups:
prepacked food, pet food, home furnishings, clothes, and home appliances, to
mention a few examples.
The aim of informative labeling systems is to make it possible for consumers to
buy products better matched to their needs and resources than would be the case if
labels did not exist. It follows from this that informative labels should increase
consumer satisfaction in the markets where such information is disseminated.

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