One-Sided Contracts in Competitive Consumer Markets

The usual assumption in economic analysis of law is that in a competitive market without informational asymmetries, the terms of contracts between sellers and buyers will be optimal-that is, that any deviation from these terms would impose expected costs on one party that exceed benefits to the other. But could there be cases in which “one-sided” contracts containing terms that impose a greater expected cost on one side than benefit on the other-would be found in competitive markets even in the absence of fraud, prohibitive information costs, or other market imperfections? That is the possibility we explore in this Article.