Standardization as a Solution to the Reading Costs of Form Contracts
AbstractIt is well-known that a monopolist cannot commit to offer a high-quality contract to a consumer reading costs are positive. This paper shows that this also holds in a competitive environment with consumer heterogeneity if the contract space is unrestricted. If firms can offer standardized contracts from a finite set, however, each with a standardized name, this paper shows that, when reading costs are not too large, there exists an equilibrium in which firms offer the most efficient contracts from the set of named contracts and consumers purchase the most efficient contracts offered without incurring any reading costs.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen in its journal Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics.
Volume (Year): 167 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.mohr.de/jite
Postal: Mohr Siebeck GmbH & Co. KG, P.O.Box 2040, 72010 Tübingen, Germany
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D18 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Protection
- D86 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Economics of Contract Law
- K12 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Contract Law
- L15 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Information and Product Quality
You can help add them by filling out this form.
reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Thomas Wolpert).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.