Coase-Sandor Working Paper Series in Law and Economics

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Law & Economics Working Papers


European law gives consumers the right to withdraw from a range of contracts for goods and services; American law, with narrow exceptions, does not. Yet merchants in the United States frequently provide by contract that consumers have the right to return goods. We analyze the right to withdraw in a model that incorporates a tradeoff between allowing consumers to learn about goods that they purchase and protecting sellers from the depreciation of those goods. The right to withdraw—at least, as a default rule—has a plausible economic basis. We identify a nascent version of it in the well-known, controversial case of ProCD v. Zeidenberg.



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