Policy ForumSCIENCE AND REGULATION

Targeting Transparency

Science  21 Jun 2013:
Vol. 340, Issue 6139, pp. 1410-1411
DOI: 10.1126/science.1233480

You are currently viewing the summary.

View Full Text

Summary

When rules, taxes, or subsidies prove impractical as policy tools, governments increasingly employ “targeted transparency,” compelling disclosure of information as an alternative means of achieving specific objectives. For example, the U.S. Affordable Care Act of 2010 requires calories be posted on menus to enlist both restaurants and patrons in the effort to reduce obesity. It is crucial to understand when and how such targeted transparency works, as well as when it is inappropriate. Research about its use and effectiveness has begun to take shape, drawing on social and behavioral scientists, economists, and legal scholars. We explore questions central to the performance of targeted transparency policies.