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Fairness Crowded Out by Law: An Experimental Study on Withdrawal Rights

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Author Info

  • Georg Borges
  • Bernd Irlenbusch

Abstract

Withdrawal rights protect buyers in distance selling, for example when ordering via the Internet. After introducing such a law in Germany the proportion of returned goods drastically increased although most sellers had already offered a return option before. We experimentally investigate scenarios in which sellers can voluntarily offer a withdrawal right. In a second treatment it is provided by law. We find indications that a voluntary provision is perceived as friendly, so that buyers reciprocate by not exploiting sellers too heavily. A third treatment reveals that small return costs for buyers have only a marginal influence on withdrawal behaviour.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen in its journal Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics.

Volume (Year): 163 (2007)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 84-101

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Handle: RePEc:mhr:jinste:urn:sici:0932-4569(200703)163:1_84:fcobla_2.0.tx_2-f

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Cited by:
  1. Samuel Bowles & Sandra Polanía Reyes, 2009. "Economic Incentives and Social Preferences: A preference-Based Lucas Critique of Public Policy," UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers 2009-11, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics.
  2. Christoph Engel & Michael Kurschilgen, 2011. "The Coevolution of Behavior and Normative Expectations. Customary Law in the Lab," Working Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2011_32, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
  3. Samuel Bowles & Sandra Polanía Reyes, 2009. "Economic Incentives and Social Preferences: A Preference-based Lucas Critique of Public Policy," CESifo Working Paper Series 2734, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Samuel Bowles & Sandra Polania-Reyes, 2011. "Economic incentives and social preferences: substitutes or complements?," Department of Economics University of Siena 617, Department of Economics, University of Siena.

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