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Over-optimism and lender liability in the consumer credit market

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  • Elisabetta Iossa
  • Giuliana Palumbo

Abstract

Credit purchases of consumer goods are commonly made upon terms governed by an agreement between the lender and the seller. The puzzle that the paper addresses is the issue that in this type of purchase the lender should be jointly liable with the seller for breach of sale contract by the seller (principle of joint responsibility). We study the rationale for this principle in situations where market failure arises because consumers underestimate the risk of product failure—for example due to seller misrepresentation—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. Copyright 2010 , Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Elisabetta Iossa & Giuliana Palumbo, 2010. "Over-optimism and lender liability in the consumer credit market," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 62(2), pages 374-394, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:oxecpp:v:62:y:2010:i:2:p:374-394
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/oep/gpp008
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Giuseppe Bertola & Stefan Hochguertel & Winfried Koeniger, 2005. "Dealer Pricing Of Consumer Credit ," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 46(4), pages 1103-1142, November.
    2. Boyer, Marcel & Laffont, Jean-Jacques, 1997. "Environmental risks and bank liability," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(8), pages 1427-1459, August.
    3. Brennan, Michael J & Maksimovic, Vojislav & Zechner, Josef, 1988. " Vendor Financing," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 43(5), pages 1127-1141, December.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. A. Mitchell Polinsky & William P. Rogerson, 1983. "Products Liability, Consumer Misperceptions, and Market Power," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 14(2), pages 581-589, Autumn.
    7. 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.
    8. Michael Spence, 1977. "Consumer Misperceptions, Product Failure and Producer Liability," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 44(3), pages 561-572.
    9. 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.
    10. Pitchford, Rohan, 1995. "How Liable Should a Lender Be? The Case of Judgment-Proof Firms and Environmental Risk," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1171-1186, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bontempi, Maria Elena & Golinelli, Roberto & Parigi, Giuseppe, 2010. "Why demand uncertainty curbs investment: Evidence from a panel of Italian manufacturing firms," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 218-238, March.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D18 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Protection
    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • K13 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Tort Law and Product Liability; Forensic Economics

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