Cautions on the Use of Economics Experiments in Law

Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE) 166 (2010), 178-193

Boston Univ. School of Law, Law and Economics Research Paper No. 15-37

18 Pages Posted: 17 Oct 2015

See all articles by Kathryn Zeiler

Kathryn Zeiler

Boston University - School of Law

Date Written: March 1, 2010

Abstract

The recent move to import empirical results into law and policymaking have introduced challenges related to drawing proper inferences from quantitative studies. The purpose of this essay is to elaborate on three specific cautions on the use of economics experiment results. First, critiques of experiment designs based on external and ecological validity are often misplaced. Second, some legal scholars have fallen into the problematic habit of applying results from experiments directly to law and policy rather than applying well-supported theories. Third, the divergent purposes behind economics studies and legal scholarship give rise, in part, to problematic cherry picking of experimental studies by legal scholars.

Keywords: law & economics, empirical legal studies, economic experiments

JEL Classification: B41, C90, K00

Suggested Citation

Zeiler, Kathryn, Cautions on the Use of Economics Experiments in Law (March 1, 2010). Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE) 166 (2010), 178-193, Boston Univ. School of Law, Law and Economics Research Paper No. 15-37, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2675179

Kathryn Zeiler (Contact Author)

Boston University - School of Law ( email )

765 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
United States

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