The Origins, Nature, and Promise of Empirical Legal Studies and a Response to Concerns

Theodore Eisenberg

Cornell University, Law School (Deceased)

December 17, 2010

Cornell Legal Studies Research Paper

This article describes the origins of three movements in legal academia: empirical legal studies (ELS), law and society, and law and economics. It then quantifies the distribution across scholarly fields of authors in these movements’ journals and reports the impact of the movements’ scholarly journals. By focusing on two leading law and economics journals, the article also explores the effect a journal being centered in law schools rather than in a social science discipline. It suggests that ELS has achieved rapid growth and impact within the academic legal community because of (1) its association with law schools, and (2) its receptiveness to contributions by scholars from all social science disciplines. Concerns about the quality and growth of ELS are found to lack persuasive support.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 21

Keywords: Empirical Legal Studies, Law and Society, Law and Economics

JEL Classification: A00, A10, A12, B00, K00, K10

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Date posted: December 19, 2010  

Suggested Citation

Eisenberg, Theodore, The Origins, Nature, and Promise of Empirical Legal Studies and a Response to Concerns (December 17, 2010). Cornell Legal Studies Research Paper . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1727538 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1727538

Contact Information

Theodore Eisenberg (Contact Author)
Cornell University, Law School (Deceased) ( email )
Myron Taylor Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853-4901
United States

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