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J. Mark Ramseyer, Products Liability through Private Ordering: Notes on a Japanese Experiment, 144 U. Pa. L. Rev. 1823 (1996).

Abstract: Japan had a voluntary products liability system until 1995. The voluntary system allowed consumers to determine whether they wished to pay more for a product that conformed to a strict products liability standard or would rather pay a lower price and assume more risk for a product that met a less stringent standard. Advocates of mandatory products liability maintain that consumers would rarely be compensated for defective products without a legal requirement, but the case of Japan shows how private ordering can result in a more flexible system.