Why does (almost) nobody read adhesion contracts?

Historical evolution, information asymmetry and the bounded rationality of adherents


  • Emiliano Betanzo Master in Law and Economics, University Torcuato Di Tella


Historical Background of Contract, Contract of Adhesion, Economic Analysis of Law, Economic Analysis of Contract Law, Market Equilibrium, Market Failure, Information Asymmetry, Behavioural Economics, Limited Rationality, Digital Platforms


The vast majority of people do not usually read the clauses that make up the adhesion contracts they sign. We know that reading this type of contract is an extremely arduous task due to the length of the contract, the complexity of the language used and the difficulty of finding the relevant information among the whole universe of clauses that make up the contract.

It is a renunciation by individuals to bear the costs of reading, understanding and comparing the different adhesion contracts offered by the market in order to identify the one that maximises their interests.

Throughout this paper, we will develop the reasons why (almost) nobody reads adhesion contracts, analysing them from the perspective of the Economic Analysis of Law and then contrasting it with the behavioural economics approach.

Author Biography

Emiliano Betanzo, Master in Law and Economics, University Torcuato Di Tella

Emilio Betanzo

Master in Law and Economics (University Torcuato Di Tella). Lawyer (Law School, University of Buenos Aires). Diploma in Business Legal Advice (School of Law, University of Buenos Aires). Lecturer in Economic Analysis of Law (University of Palermo - ESEADE). Email: emilianobetanzo@gmail.com


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How to Cite

Betanzo, E. (2022). Why does (almost) nobody read adhesion contracts? Historical evolution, information asymmetry and the bounded rationality of adherents. Review of International and European Economic Law, 1(2), 64–76. Retrieved from https://rieel.com/index.php/rieel/article/view/27