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Harmonization of private law on a global level


  • Jean-Jacques Herings, P.
  • Kanning, Arnald J.


The Vienna Sales Convention (1980) follows in large measure the American Uniform Commercial Code: Article 2 on Sales. Is this to imply that the Contracting States to the Vienna Sales Convention really prefer American sales law? This paper answers this question in the negative, and argues instead that the United States' economic leverage with other countries is the key factor influencing developments pertaining to private law on a global level. We explain why it may be useful to harmonize rules of private law on a global level and which rules should be chosen for a uniform law. We show that the choice between two legal arrangements may lead to a coordination problem. Next we argue that the coordination problem is solved in favor of the jurisdiction whose economy is less dependent upon the economies of other jurisdictions than the other way around. We use our model to discuss the harmonization of sales law on a global level in the twentieth century.

Suggested Citation

  • Jean-Jacques Herings, P. & Kanning, Arnald J., 2008. "Harmonization of private law on a global level," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 256-262, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:irlaec:v:28:y:2008:i:4:p:256-262

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    7. Van Den Bergh, Roger, 1996. "Economic criteria for applying the subsidiarity principle in the European community: The case of competition policy," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 363-383, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bertrand Crettez & Bruno Deffains & Olivier Musy, 2013. "On the dynamics of legal convergence," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 156(1), pages 345-356, July.
    2. Baniak Andrzej & Grajzl Peter, 2011. "Interjurisdictional Linkages and the Scope for Interventionist Legal Harmonization," Review of Law & Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 7(2), pages 405-434, December.
    3. Asif Efrat, 2016. "Promoting trade through private law: Explaining international legal harmonization," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 311-336, September.


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