This chapter focuses on the credit card contract. It identifies two features common to most credit card contracts — complexity and deferred costs. It presents a behavioural-economics theory of credit card contracts, and then argues that complexity and deferred costs represent a strategic response by sophisticated issuers to imperfectly rational cardholders. There is a behaviour market failure in the credit card industry that reduces efficiency and hurts cardholders. Regulatory intervention can help minimize the adverse effects of this market failure.
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