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9 - Empirical Methods

from Part I - Methods of Comparative Law

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  26 January 2024

Mathias Siems
Affiliation:
European University Institute, Florence
Po Jen Yap
Affiliation:
The University of Hong Kong
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Summary

This chapter follows the definition of ‘empirical legal studies’ as research which applies quantitative methods to questions about the relationship between law and society, in particular with the aim of drawing conclusions about causal connections between variables. Comparative law does not typically phrase its research as being interested in questions of causal inference. Yet, implicitly, it is very much interested in such topics as it explores, for example, the determinants of legal differences between countries or when it evaluates how far it may be said that one of the legal solutions is preferable. It is thus valuable that significant progress has been made in empirical approaches to comparative law that may be able to show robust causal links about the relationship between law and society. This chapter outlines the main types of such studies: experiments, cross-sectional studies, panel data analysis and quasi-experiments. However, it also shows that such studies face a number of methodological problems. This chapter concludes that often it may be most promising to combine different methods in order to reach a valid empirical result.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2024

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  • Empirical Methods
  • Edited by Mathias Siems, European University Institute, Florence, Po Jen Yap, The University of Hong Kong
  • Book: The Cambridge Handbook of Comparative Law
  • Online publication: 26 January 2024
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108914741.011
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  • Empirical Methods
  • Edited by Mathias Siems, European University Institute, Florence, Po Jen Yap, The University of Hong Kong
  • Book: The Cambridge Handbook of Comparative Law
  • Online publication: 26 January 2024
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108914741.011
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Empirical Methods
  • Edited by Mathias Siems, European University Institute, Florence, Po Jen Yap, The University of Hong Kong
  • Book: The Cambridge Handbook of Comparative Law
  • Online publication: 26 January 2024
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108914741.011
Available formats
×