Consumer Research Contributions to the Evaluation of Public Policy: The Case of Truth in Lending

By William K. BrandtGeorge S. Day
1973| Working Paper No. 166

This paper explores two converging trends of potential interest to consumer researchers. The first is the burgeoning area of evaluation research, and the second is the growing interest of legislators and regulators in information disclosure as a means of assisting or protecting consumers.1 One of the points of convergence is an evaluation of the impact of Truth in Lending (TIL) legislation on consumer behavior conducted by the authors for the National Commission on Consumer Finance. The primary objective of this paper is to demonstrate how concepts developed from consumer behavior theory were combined with the methodology of evaluation research to assess the result of this public policy. The paper will also summarize the research results, but a more complete report can be found elsewhere [7]. From this example we hope to stimulate greater appreciation for the nature and problems of evaluation research in general [and of the evaluation of information disclosure regulation in particular].