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Overoptimism and Lender Liability in the Consumer Credit Market

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  • Elisabetta Iossa

    (Brunel University)

  • Giuliana Palumbo

    ()
    (Bank of Italy)

Abstract

Credit purchases of consumer goods are commonly made upon terms governed by an agreement between the lender and the seller. This type of purchase is generally subject to a legal principle of joint responsibility under which the lender and the seller are jointly liable to the consumer for breach of the sale contract by the seller. We study the rationale for this principle in situations where market failure arises because consumers under estimate the risk of product failure - for example due to selle rmisrepresentation - and it is difficult to enforce seller responsibility. We show that joint responsibility increases welfare and reduces the incentives of sellers to misrepresent the quality of their products.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area in its series Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) with number 598.

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Date of creation: Sep 2006
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Handle: RePEc:bdi:wptemi:td_598_06

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Web page: http://www.bancaditalia.it
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Keywords: consumer credit; lender liability; misrepresentation; overoptimism; product failure;

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  1. Tracy R. Lewis & David E. M. Sappington, 2001. "How Liable Should a Lender Be? The Case of Judgment-Proof Firms and Environmental Risk: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(3), pages 724-730, June.
  2. Boyer, M. & Laffont, J.J., 1995. "Environmental Risks and Bank Liability," Cahiers de recherche 9501, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  3. Bertola, Giuseppe & Stefan Hochguertel & Winfried Koeniger (YE), 2002. "Dealer Pricing of Consumer Credit," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2002 24, Royal Economic Society.
  4. Dieter Balkenborg, 2001. "How Liable Should a Lender Be? The Case of Judgment-Proof Firms and Environmental Risk: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(3), pages 731-738, June.
  5. A. Mitchell Polinsky & William P. Rogerson, 1982. "Products Liability, Consumer Misperceptions, and Market Power," NBER Working Papers 0937, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Elisabetta Iossa & Giuliana Palumbo, 2004. "Product quality, lender liability, and consumer credit," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(2), pages 331-343, April.
  7. Brennan, Michael J & Maksimovic, Vojislav & Zechner, Josef, 1988. " Vendor Financing," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 43(5), pages 1127-41, December.
  8. Boyer, M. & Kihlstrom, R.E. & Laffont, J.J., 1980. "Market Determinants of Misleading Advertising," Cahiers de recherche 8036, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
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Cited by:
  1. Elena Bontempi & Roberto Golinelli & Giuseppe Parigi, 2007. "Why demand uncertainty curbs investment: Evidence froma a panel of Italian manufacturing firms," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 621, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.

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