Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1762323
 


 



Empiricism and the Rising Incidence of Coauthorship in Law


Tom Ginsburg


University of Chicago Law School

Thomas J. Miles


University of Chicago - Law School

February 15, 2011

U of Chicago Law & Economics, Olin Working Paper No. 545

Abstract:     
The recent growth of empirical scholarship in law, which some have termed “empirical legal studies,” has received much attention. A less noticed implication of this trend is its potential impact on the manner of scholarly production in legal academia. A common prediction is that academic collaboration rises with scholarly specialization. As the complexity of a field grows, more and more diverse types of human capital are needed to make a contribution. This paper presents two tests of whether empiricism has spurred more co-authorship in law. First, the paper shows that the fraction of articles in the top fifteen law reviews that were empirical or co-authored (or both) trended upwards between 2000 and 2010. The increase in empirical articles accounted for a substantial share of the growth in co-authored articles, and the correlation between co-authorship and empiricism persisted after controlling for numerous other influences. Second, the paper examines the articles published since 1989 in two prominent, faculty-edited journals specializing in law & economics: the Journal of Legal Studies and the Journal of Law, Economics & Organization. Co-authored articles were far more common in these journals than in the general-interest, student-edited law reviews – a pattern which itself is consistent with the specialization hypothesis. The share of articles without empirical analysis or formal models in these journals plummeted over this period, while co-authorship rose sharply. These results support the view that specialization, and specifically the growth of empirical scholarship, has contributed to the trend of co-authorship in legal academia.

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Date posted: February 15, 2011 ; Last revised: October 3, 2011

Suggested Citation

Ginsburg, Tom and Miles, Thomas J., Empiricism and the Rising Incidence of Coauthorship in Law (February 15, 2011). U of Chicago Law & Economics, Olin Working Paper No. 545. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1762323 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1762323

Contact Information

Tom Ginsburg (Contact Author)
University of Chicago Law School ( email )
1111 E. 60th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
Thomas J. Miles
University of Chicago - Law School ( email )
1111 E. 60th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
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