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The Strategy of Methodology: The Virtues of Being Reductionist for Comparative Law


Gillian K. Hadfield


USC Law School and Department of Economics


University of Toronto Law Journal, Vol. 59, p. 223, 2009
USC CLEO Research Paper No. C09-14
USC Law Legal Studies Paper No. 09-27

Abstract:     
This is a pre-publication draft of a response to three comments on my paper entitled “Levers of Legal Design: Institutional Determinants of the Quality of Law” 36 Journal of Comparative Economics 43. The Comments, prepared by Ralf Michaels, John Reitz and Pierre Legrand, together with an Introduction by Catherine Valcke, appeared together with this reply in the inaugural Focus Feature of the University of Toronto Law Journal in April 2009. The reply responds to the concerns raised, in different ways, by comparative law scholars about the use of simplified modeling techniques to analyze the nature and impact of law in different countries. I explore the tension between the need for 'thick description' of legal regimes and respect for legal regimes on their own terms and the insights that can be generated through the abstraction inherent in analytical methods like economics.

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Date posted: May 28, 2009 ; Last revised: November 12, 2013

Suggested Citation

Hadfield, Gillian K., The Strategy of Methodology: The Virtues of Being Reductionist for Comparative Law. University of Toronto Law Journal, Vol. 59, p. 223, 2009; USC CLEO Research Paper No. C09-14; USC Law Legal Studies Paper No. 09-27. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1410901

Contact Information

Gillian K. Hadfield (Contact Author)
USC Law School and Department of Economics ( email )
699 Exposition Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States
213-821-6793 (Phone)
213-740-5502 (Fax)

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