Encyclopedia of Law and Economics

2019 Edition
| Editors: Alain Marciano, Giovanni Battista Ramello

Contracts of Adhesion

  • Elena D’AgostinoEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-7753-2_669


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 contracts 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 traditional reasons to justify regulation in favor of consumers and highlighting its risks.

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EconomicsUniversity of MessinaMessinaItaly