Harmonization of Private Law on a Global Level

7 Pages Posted: 18 Nov 2008


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 showthat the choice between two legal arrangementsmay 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.

Keywords: Unification, Harmonization, Private Law, Economic Interdependencies, Game Theory

JEL Classification: K00, D61

Suggested Citation

Herings, P. Jean-Jacques and Kanning, Arnald J., Harmonization of Private Law on a Global Level. International Review of Law and Economics, Vol. 28, No. 4, pp. 256-262, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1302369

P. Jean-Jacques Herings (Contact Author)

Tilburg University ( email )

Department of Econometrics and Operations Research
P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, 5000 LE
+31 13 4668797 (Phone)
5000 LE (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/view/jean-jacques-herings/home

Arnald J. Kanning

Independent ( email )

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