26 Pages Posted: 20 Oct 2003
Date Written: June 2003
When do drafters of legal instruments specify details and when do they not? To explore this question, we develop a method called leximetrics that involves comparative quantitative analysis of legal instruments. Using data from the directive process in the European Union, we show: (i) that statute length varies systematically across countries, partially controlling for substance; (ii) that other legal instruments, such as judicial opinions and contracts, are longer in countries with long statutes; and (iii) that both of the above are correlated with a large lawyer population. This paper uses a simple agency model to explain these facts, and offers an agenda for leximetric research.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Cooter, Robert D. and Ginsburg, Tom, Leximetrics: Why the Same Laws are Longer in Some Countries than Others (June 2003). U Illinois Law & Economics Research Paper No. LE03-012. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=456520 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.456520