In the globalized mass production economy with a large number of individual consumers, transactions very often take place between parties who are not physically present, such that communication between them turns out impossible or, at least, highly expensive. For that reason contracts are usually proposed by sellers to consumers on a take-it-or-leave-it basis without negotiation, referred to as con- tracts of adhesion. Consumers usually do not read the whole contract, and sellers can include inefficient one-sided clauses in fine print. This work reviews the main legal and economic literature on this topic presenting the tradi- tional reasons to justify regulation in favor of consumers and highlighting its risks.

Contracts of adhesion

D'Agostino, Elena
Primo
2019

Abstract

In the globalized mass production economy with a large number of individual consumers, transactions very often take place between parties who are not physically present, such that communication between them turns out impossible or, at least, highly expensive. For that reason contracts are usually proposed by sellers to consumers on a take-it-or-leave-it basis without negotiation, referred to as con- tracts of adhesion. Consumers usually do not read the whole contract, and sellers can include inefficient one-sided clauses in fine print. This work reviews the main legal and economic literature on this topic presenting the tradi- tional reasons to justify regulation in favor of consumers and highlighting its risks.
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