The Diffusion of Legal Innovation – Insights from Mathematical Modeling

53 Pages Posted: 11 Feb 2016 Last revised: 27 Feb 2019

See all articles by Michal Shur-Ofry

Michal Shur-Ofry

Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Faculty of Law

Gadi Fibich

Tel Aviv University - School of Mathematical Sciences

Shira Wultz-Green

Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Date Written: February 2019

Abstract

Do countries adopt legal rules due to independent, top-down processes, or, do laws spread among nations in a manner that resembles the diffusion of new products and innovations in a social network? We empirically examine this question by employing an influential mathematical model based on sociological diffusion theory and frequently used for analyzing the diffusion of innovations (the Bass model). Our findings indicate that more often than not, the temporal diffusion of legal rules displays a good fit to the Bass model, and suggest that this model can provide new insights in studying the diffusion of laws. Particularly, applying the Bass model to legal diffusion allows quantifying the influence that countries and states exert on each other in the adoption of specific rules, provides a metric for comparing diffusion processes across different legal branches, allows to tentatively predict the ongoing spread of specific rules, and sheds light on several debates in the areas of comparative, corporate, and international law.

Keywords: Diffusion of Innovation, Diffusion of Laws, Bass Model, Mathematical Modeling, Legal Innovation, Social Contagion, Law and Networks, law and STEM, Comparative Law, Legal Unification, Corporate Law, International Law

JEL Classification: C61, M31, O21, O29, O33, O35, O38, Z13

Suggested Citation

Shur-Ofry, Michal and Fibich, Gadi and Wultz-Green, Shira, The Diffusion of Legal Innovation – Insights from Mathematical Modeling (February 2019). Cornell International Law Journal, Vol. 52, 2019 Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2730461 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2730461

Michal Shur-Ofry (Contact Author)

Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Faculty of Law ( email )

Mount Scopus
Mount Scopus, IL 91905
Israel

Gadi Fibich

Tel Aviv University - School of Mathematical Sciences ( email )

Tel Aviv 69978
Israel

Shira Wultz-Green

Hebrew University of Jerusalem ( email )

Mount Scopus
Jerusalem, IL Jerusalem 91905
Israel

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