Call for papers : Special track
Disclosure and Labeling Regulation in the Food Industry:
A Behavioral Law & Economics Perspective


Marco Faillo (University of Trento)
Giacomo Degli Antoni (University of Parma)
Virginia Cecchini Manara (University of Milan)

Various approaches can be adopted to change food consumption patterns in order to improve lifestyle, health, and to reduce the environmental impact, such as favoring the availability of sustainable food, adopting tax incentives, or nudging consumers towards healthier and more sustainable food choices. In this regard, special emphasis has been devoted to empowering interventions aimed at putting consumers in the conditions to make informed and considered decisions. One of the main challenges for regulators is to overcome some common reasons of the failure of mandated disclosure, such as information overload and accumulation of mandates, which can lead to reduced response by both consumers and disclosers (Ben-Sharar and Schneider, 2011; Lacko and Pappalardo, 2010). The recent trend in disclosure policy, especially in the food industry, is to push for smart disclosure strategies, based on the transmission of selected, structured and summarized information and on the use of simple and salient messages (NUTRISCORE, GM labels, nutrition labels, traffic lights, etc.). (Loewenstein et al. 2014). Despite its effectiveness in inducing positive change in their behavior, the new strategies can induce consumers to make false inferences about the properties of the product (Bar-Gill, 2021). Moreover, smart disclosure implies an “ex-ante” selection of the features of the products to be disclosed. In fact, providing information on multiple features is likely to expose consumers to complex trade-offs and produce choice overload. Which features should be considered in order to inform consumers and improving lifestyle, health and environment is a subject of discussion.

We believe that the complexity of actions and reactions of the actors involved in these processes should be investigated in greater depth in order to elaborate more effective and shared policy interventions. There is a need for rigorous theoretical and empirical investigation of the effectiveness of alternative regulatory interventions, which considers both consumers’ and producers’ responses to regulatory moves.

The aim of the session is to contribute to the behavioral law & economics analysis of disclosure policies and labeling strategies, focusing on the food industry.

Possible topics of focus cover, but are not limited to

  • Regulation of food labeling
  • Smart disclosure
  • Firms’ disclosure strategies
  • Information provision
  • Nutritional labels
  • Food choices
  • Food Information
  • Food sustainability
  • Consumer protection

Please, submit your paper or long abstract on SIDE website, indicating the “Special track: Disclosure and labeling regulation in the food industry”

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