The economics of harmonization of food law in the EU

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic


This chapter applies the economics of federalism to the harmonization of food law in the EU. The economic criteria for centralization (more particularly transboundary externalities, the risk of a race to the bottom and a reduction of transaction costs) are used to ask the question whether some centralization of food law may be warranted. The question is also asked whether harmonization of food law could serve the goal of market integration.
In addition to sketching the economic principles of centralization the evolution of EU food law is sketched and compared to the economic theory. It is sketched how EU food law now represents a hybrid system. Still, an important Law and Economics scholarship argues that even though there may be strong arguments for some intervention at the EU level, currently directives go much too far in prescribing requirements concerning food, which may not always reflect the diverging preferences of citizens as far as food safety is concerned.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRegulating and managing food safety in the EU
Subtitle of host publicationA legal economic perspective
EditorsH. Bemmers, K. Purnhagen
Place of PublicationCham
ISBN (Electronic)978-33-1977-045-1
ISBN (Print)978-33-1977-043-7
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Publication series

SeriesEconomic Analysis of Law in European Legal Scholarship

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