Empirical Comparative Law

Annual Review of Law and Social Science, Vol. 11, 2015, Forthcoming

Harvard University Olin Center for Law, Economics and Business Discussion Paper No. 815

29 Pages Posted: 14 Mar 2015 Last revised: 21 Aug 2015

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: March 2015

Abstract

I review the empirical comparative law literature with an emphasis on quantitative work. After situating the field and surveying its main applications to date, I turn to methodological issues. I discuss at length the obstacles to causal inference from comparative data, and caution against inappropriate use of instrumental variables and other techniques. Even if comparative data cannot identify any single causal theory, however, they are extremely important in narrowing down the set of plausible theories. I report progress in measurement design, and suggest improvements in data analysis and interpretation using techniques from other fields, particularly growth econometrics.

Keywords: Causal inference, comparative data, comparative law, cross-country, empirical methodology, law and finance, legal origins, quantitative methods

JEL Classification: C18, K00, P50

Suggested Citation

Spamann, Holger, Empirical Comparative Law (March 2015). Annual Review of Law and Social Science, Vol. 11, 2015, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2577350

Holger Spamann (Contact Author)

Harvard Law School ( email )

Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

ECGI ( email )

c/o ECARES ULB CP 114
B-1050 Brussels
Belgium

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