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This lecture considers the case for consumer financial regulation in an environment where many households lack the knowledge to manage their financial affairs effectively. The lecture argues that financial ignorance is pervasive and unsurprising given the complexity of modern financial products, and that it contributes meaningfully to the evolution of wealth inequality. The lecture uses a stylized model to discuss the welfare economics of paternalistic intervention in financial markets, anddoi:10.1257/aer.p20161127 fatcat:hdt7tboukjezhlmdkbbfomy6ri