Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2157082
 


 



Through the Looking Glass: Understanding Social Science Norms for Analyzing International Investment Law


Susan D. Franck


Washington and Lee University - School of Law

Calvin P. Garbin


University of Nebraska at Lincoln

Jenna M Perkins


University of Nebraska at Lincoln

October 1, 2011

Yearbook of International Investment Law and Policy, 2011
Washington & Lee Legal Studies Paper

Abstract:     
When social science methods are being employed in a new context — such as the assessment of international investment law — there is value in exploring the underlying assumptions and normative baselines of the enterprise. This article and response address critiques about the methodology of an article in the Harvard International Law Journal by: (1) describing the value of social science in international investment law; (2) replicating the research using new methodologies to conduct more than 20 new tests that were still unable to ascertain the existence of a reliable relationship between development status and outcomes on the basis of pre-2007 data, which demonstrates the initial results were robust; (3) identifying social science norms for conducting and describing research; and (4) exploring opportunities for the evolution of social science research on investment. The article explains that, for investment treaty arbitration, statistical power is often low given the nascent nature of the area and that full statistical power will require between 750-1200 cases to rule out the existence of possible small effects. Therefore, in an area of critical normative debate, it is preferable to report results but acknowledge the limitations; this is appropriate as empirical work, just like any other form of acquiring knowledge, has a risk of error. The article concludes that future research can and should replicate the initial scholarship to ascertain whether the pre-2007 historical snapshot continues to be valid as the population grows. In this way, normative debate can be be grounded in reality rather than rhetoric.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 42

Keywords: Empirical legal methods, Investment Treaty, Investment Treaty Arbitration, Arbitration, ICSID, Development Status, OECD, World Bank, Outcomes, Law and Economics, Dispute Resolution, Private International Law, Social Science, Quantitative Analysis

JEL Classification: C10, F1, F2, F02, F13, F21, F30, K41, K1, H77, E22, H87, K33, K20, O10, O16, H8

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Date posted: October 5, 2012 ; Last revised: October 11, 2012

Suggested Citation

Franck, Susan D. and Garbin, Calvin P. and Perkins, Jenna M, Through the Looking Glass: Understanding Social Science Norms for Analyzing International Investment Law (October 1, 2011). Yearbook of International Investment Law and Policy, 2011; Washington & Lee Legal Studies Paper. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2157082

Contact Information

Susan D. Franck (Contact Author)
Washington and Lee University - School of Law ( email )
Lexington, VA 24450
United States
Calvin P. Garbin
University of Nebraska at Lincoln ( email )
Lincoln, NE 68588
United States
Jenna M Perkins
University of Nebraska at Lincoln ( email )
Lincoln, NE 68588
United States
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