Should Legal Empiricists Go Bayesian?

111 Pages Posted: 5 Jun 2007

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: May 2007


Bayesian empirical approaches appear frequently in fields such as engineering, computer science, political science and medicine, but almost never in law. This article illustrates how such approaches might be very useful in empirical legal studies. In particular, Bayesian approaches enable a much more natural connection between the normative or positive issues that typically motivate such studies and the empirical results.

Keywords: Bayesian analysis, right-to-carry, Bayesian model averaging, model, comparison, model selection, model specification, hypothesis testing, BIC, prior elicitation, prior sensitivity, conditional maximum, likelihood criterion, CML, maximum marginal likelihood criterion, MML, g-prior, natural conjugate

JEL Classification: C10, C11, C12, C15, C23, C52, K14

Suggested Citation

Strnad, James (Jeff) Frank, Should Legal Empiricists Go Bayesian? (May 2007). Stanford Law and Economics Olin Working Paper No. 342, Available at SSRN: or

James (Jeff) Frank Strnad (Contact Author)

Stanford Law School ( email )

559 Nathan Abbott Way
Stanford, CA 94305-8610
United States
650-723-9674 (Phone)

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics