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

Georg Borges and Bernd Irlenbusch ()

Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), 2007, vol. 163, issue 1, 84-101

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.

JEL-codes: K12 C91 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2007
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