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Product Safety, Buybacks, and the Post-Sale Duty to Warn

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  • Kathryn E. Spier
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    Abstract

    A manufacturer learns a product's risks after it has been sold and distributed to consumers. When held strictly liable for product-related injuries, the manufacturer offers to repurchase the product when the risk exceeds a threshold. Consumers accept the offer when their private valuations of consumption are smaller than the buyback price. The manufacturer's private incentives to stage a buyback are insufficient, the buyback price offered is too low, and the continued product usage by consumers is excessive. The ability of the manufacturer to repurchase the product ex post reduces the incentive to design safer products ex ante. A negligence rule, the "post-sale duty to warn," implements the social welfare benchmark. The Author 2010. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Yale University. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oxfordjournals.org, Oxford University Press.

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/jleo/ewp029
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal The Journal of Law, Economics, & Organization.

    Volume (Year): 27 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 3 ()
    Pages: 515-539

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    Handle: RePEc:oup:jleorg:v:27:y::i:3:p:515-539

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    Cited by:
    1. Thomas J. Miceli & Kathleen Segerson & Suo Wang, 2013. "Products Liability When Consumers Vary in Their Susceptibility to Harm and May Misperceive Risk," Working papers 2013-15, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.

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