Danubius International Conferences, 8th International Conference on European Integration - Realities and Perspectives

Rational Choice, Consumer Vulnerability and Empowerment: Diverging Economic Perspectives and Issues for Debate

Madalina Balau-Ariton
Last modified: 2013-08-14


This paper discusses the issue of consumer choice seen from two quite diverging perspectives: rational choice theory and consumer empowerment as it is currently measured by available research at European Union level. The question we try to answer is: In what manner do the assumptions on consumer rational choice influence the actual understanding of choice and the improvement of the fairness of the choice? To this aim we review the basic theoretical ideas on rational choice and consumer empowerment, as well as the conclusions of previous research on Romanian consumers empowerment current situation. The main finding of this analysis is that Romanian consumer choice needs more awareness, an increase of consumer skills and more active individual involvement in discussing these issues.