Quality and Price

Those who hear me ‘banging on’ about legal services and quality will have heard me question the fear that the Legal Services Act will simply lead to a race to the bottom.  The reason is we need to pay more attention to the role of price in judgments on quality.  Whilst researching this, I came across this tidy (as we say here in Wales) article in the Washington Post on the price-placebo effect.  There are also effects called the Snob effect and the Veblen effect, but as its Friday let me just encourage you to ‘take a gander’ at the entertaining and informative story here.  The basic point is that making the same product more expensive can not only make somebody imagine something is better, they experience that thing as better in a physiological sense and those duped become more able themselves.  As I like to say in my colloquially minded moments, go figure!

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About Richard Moorhead

Director of the Centre for Ethics and Law and Professor of Law and Professional Ethics at the Faculty of Laws, University College London with an interest in teaching and research on the legal ethics, the professions, legal aid, access to justice and the courts.
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