Faculty of Law

Monash University

Postgraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2013 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

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FacultyFaculty of Law
OfferedCity (Melbourne) Trimester 2 2013 (Day)



This unit examines important issues in consumer policy analysis and recent developments in a number of specific areas of consumer policy regulation. An economic focus, including mainstream and behavioural economic considerations, will underpin the approach taken in the unit. A framework for consumer policy will be developed, including examination of rationales for market intervention and the instruments for intervention. Consideration will be given to notions of consumer detriment and its measurement, since this is an important consideration in market intervention. The links between consumer policy and competition policy will be explored. The unit will also consider approaches to market monitoring and the development of integrated compliance strategies. Institutional arrangements can have a significant impact on the operation of consumer policy and these will also be examined. Concepts considered in the early part of the unit will be applied in a number of areas subject to recent regulatory change. These areas include product safety, credit, unfair contract terms and real estate agency. There will be an opportunity for students to consider other specific areas in their research essays.


On completion of this unit students will:

  1. understand the main elements of the consumer policy framework in Australia and other economies
  2. understand the economic basis for consumer policy and for different market interventions
  3. understand key concepts important in the operation of consumer policy
  4. understand the rationales and likely impact of recent reforms in specific consumer policy areas
  5. be able to apply economic thinking to other areas of consumer policy.


Research assignment (3,750 words): 50%
Take-home examination (3,750 words): 50%

Chief examiner(s)

Contact hours

24 contact hours per semester (either intensive, semi-intensive or semester long, depending on the Faculty resources, timetabling and requirements). Students will be expected to do reading set for class, and to undertake additional research and reading applicable to a 6 credit point unit.