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Tuesday, February 06, 2018


Rory V

Ted F.'s statement that somehow there is an "extensive empirical literature showing that most government consumer interventions . . . make poorer consumers worse off" reads off in light of the fact that there is very little empirical literature examining the distributional effects of such interventions on the spending and income side--both of which are necessary to consider. In any case, the quality of the empirical research is more important than the quantity. But if the article omits rigorous empirical studies not conducted by advocacy groups, email suggestions would be helpful.

Additionally, Ted F.’s comment indicates at least some agreement with one of the main points of the article. If there are laws making low- and middle-income consumers worse off, their repeal provides an option for progressive redistribution (and maybe a better one than achieving similar goals through tax). Many such laws are mentioned in the paper.

Finally, the article does not get into arbitration and class actions, but clearly the amount transferred to attorneys must be considered in any comprehensive distributional analysis of consumer class actions.

Ted F

Paper transparently fails to consider the extensive empirical literature showing that most government consumer interventions, like the Durbin Amendment, restrictions on payday lending, and the CFPB's anti-arbitration rule, make poorer consumers worse off.

Given current class action law transfers wealth from lower- and middle-class consumers to wealthy attorneys, Van Loo should look elsewhere to reform.

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