Skip to content

John Shepard Wiley, Eric Rasmusen & J. Mark Ramseyer, The Leasing Monopolist, 37 UCLA L. Rev. 693 (1990).

Abstract: The United Shoe case banned lease-only policies by monopolists. But the court erred in believing that monopoly pricing could explain United Shoe Machinery's complex of leasing policies. At best, this explanation only accounts for a few details of the case. The bulk of the company's conduct seems simply efficient -- suggesting that the Shoe decision was wrong and its later precedential consequences pernicious. The Coase Conjecture might seem to make some sense of Shoe's ban on monopoly leasing, and suggests that the Shoe rule may have been too narrow. At the same time, however, the Conjecture dictates that the Shoe rule be confined ways the opinion did not suggest that are unacceptably costly to accomplish. Courts would do well to accept that Coase describes a problem that is real. But they would also do well to accept it as a problem not worth solving.