Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1940572
 
 

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Measuring the Immeasurable: How to Turn Law into Numbers


Mathias M. Siems


Durham University - Durham Law School; University of Cambridge - Centre for Business Research

October 7, 2011

DOES LAW MATTER? ON LAW AND ECONOMIC GROWTH, p. 115, Michael Faure and Jan Smits, eds., Intersentia, 2011

Abstract:     
When economists try to measure legal rules and institutions their approach is often a “just do it” one, implicitly assuming that the complexity of the law does not prevent it from being turned into numbers. Many legal academics, by contrast, have the attitude of “just don’t do it,” for instance, bluntly saying that “law is about things that are not quantifiable.” The purpose of this paper is to explain and discuss the different ways how law can be measured. More briefly it will also be addressed how, in a second step, these numbers can be used to show causal relationships. This second step can be very contentious and complicated; yet, the core interest of this paper is on the preliminary question on how quantitative data on law can be found or constructed. This paper does not attempt a comprehensive review of the literature on quantitative research in law but it will provide representative examples, mainly focusing on comparative legal studies.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 22

Keywords: quantitative legal research, empirical legal research, leximetrics, law and finance, legal indicators, Doing Business Report, Governance Indicators

JEL Classification: C00, K00, K20, K42

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Date posted: October 8, 2011 ; Last revised: October 27, 2011

Suggested Citation

Siems, Mathias M., Measuring the Immeasurable: How to Turn Law into Numbers (October 7, 2011). DOES LAW MATTER? ON LAW AND ECONOMIC GROWTH, p. 115, Michael Faure and Jan Smits, eds., Intersentia, 2011. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1940572

Contact Information

Mathias M. Siems (Contact Author)
Durham University - Durham Law School ( email )
50 North Bailey
Durham, County Durham DH1 3ET
United Kingdom
HOME PAGE: http://www.dur.ac.uk/mathias.siems
University of Cambridge - Centre for Business Research ( email )
Top Floor, Judge Business School Building
Trumpington Street
Cambridge, CB2 1AG
United Kingdom
HOME PAGE: http://www.cbr.cam.ac.uk/people/siems.htm
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