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An Economic Analysis of Uniform State Laws


  • Ribstein, Larry E
  • Kobayashi, Bruce H


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.

Suggested Citation

  • Ribstein, Larry E & Kobayashi, Bruce H, 1996. "An Economic Analysis of Uniform State Laws," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25(1), pages 131-199, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlstud:v:25:y:1996:i:1:p:131-99

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    Cited by:

    1. Smits, Jan, 2005. "Diversity of Contract Law and the European Internal Market," MPRA Paper 8192, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. O’Connor, Erin O’Hara & Rutledge, Peter B., 2014. "Arbitration, the law market, and the law of lawyering," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(S), pages 87-106.
    3. Nuno Garoupa & Anthony Ogus, 2006. "A Strategic Interpretation of Legal Transplants," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 35(2), pages 339-363, June.
    4. Jan Smits, 2012. "Introduction to special issue: Harmonisation of contract law: an economic and behavioural perspective," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 33(3), pages 473-480, June.
    5. Aurélien Portuese, 2012. "Law and economics of the European multilingualism," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 34(2), pages 279-325, October.
    6. Kanning, A.J., 2004. "Codification of the common law in the United States : An economic perspective," Discussion Paper 2004-009, Tilburg University, Tilburg Law and Economic Center.
    7. Fernando Gomez & Juan Ganuza, 2012. "How to build European private law: an economic analysis of the lawmaking and harmonization dimensions in European private law," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 33(3), pages 481-503, June.
    8. 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.
    9. Loeper, Antoine, 2011. "Coordination in heterogeneous federal systems," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7-8), pages 900-912, August.
    10. Francisco Garcimartín Alférez, 1999. "Regulatory Competition: A Private International Law Approach," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 8(3), pages 251-270, November.

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