Kathryn Zeiler

Cautions on the Use of Economics Experiments in Law

Volume 166 () / Issue 1, pp. 178-193 (16)

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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 or 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.

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