An Economic Analysis of Uniform State Laws
Uniform laws proposed by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL) cover virtually every area of state law. Yet there is no economic analysis of the NCCUSL's activities. This article addresses this gap in the literature by applying economic analysis to evaluate and explain the NCCUSL's activities and their success in state legislatures. We find that states efficiently sort between NCCUSL proposals in that they tend to adopt these proposals in which a cost-benefit analysis suggests that uniformity is efficient. Nevertheless, the NCCUSL's promulgates many laws in which uniformity is not efficient, and the NCCUSL's influence causes some of these proposals to be adopted. Our results suggest that, in many cases, reliance on federal law or on centralized lawmaking bodies such as the NCCUSL to produce uniformity may be both unnecessary and perverse. Copyright 1996 by the University of Chicago.