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Unification of Commercial Law: The Role of the Dominant Economy

36 Pages Posted: 24 Apr 2012 Last revised: 14 Aug 2017

Arnald J. Kanning


Date Written: August 13, 2017


The economy of a state (‘dependent state’) may depend relatively more upon the economy of another, less dependent, state (‘dominant state’) than vice versa. This paper explains why the ‘dominant economy’ can wield leverage over the issue of which legal rules to include in a uniform commercial law. In the preparation of a uniform commercial law, the ‘dependent state’ looks more likely to make the tradeoff between increased interstate economic activity and applying less-preferred legal rules. Within the conceptual framework of historical and comparative institutional analysis (HCIA), an empirical study is offered of several well-known attempts to unify (and codify) divergent bodies of commercial (common) law in the past two centuries.

Keywords: New Institutional Economics, Transaction Cost Economics, Contracting Institutions, Commercial Law, Unification of Law, Uniform State Law, Cooperative Federalism, Coordination, Economic Dominance

JEL Classification: D61, D63, D72, H70, H73

Suggested Citation

Kanning, Arnald J., Unification of Commercial Law: The Role of the Dominant Economy (August 13, 2017). Available at SSRN: or

Arnald J. Kanning (Contact Author)

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