New Legal Realism: Empirical Law and Society

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Seeking to develop a rigorous, genuinely interdisciplinary approach to the empirical study of law.
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Comparative Institutional Analysis Readings

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A Different Kind of Law & Economics

Here we introduce you to a strand of law and economics that doesn’t receive the kind of publicity surrounding some other strands, but which is closely allied with Nobel-Prize-winning work within the field of economics itself. Comparative institutional analysis brings consideration of social structures into the study of economics, although there is still some debate over the best approach to studying institutions in this area. For an interesting discussion of ways to bridge the differing approaches of North, Ostrum, and Komesar, see Daniel Cole’s recent paper. For overviews of this general area of scholarship, see The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Institutional Analysis, ed. by Glenn Morgan, John Campbell, Colin Crouch, Ove Kai Pedersen, and Richard Whitley, Oxford: Oxford University Press (2010). And, to get a better sense of the potential of comparative institutional analysis to illuminate our understanding of law (both “in books” and “in action”), have fun reading and watching some of the resources given below:

Block-Lieb, Susan. "The Logic and Limits of Contract Bankruptcy". 2001 U. Ill. L. Rev. 503 (2001).

Buzbee, William W."Asymmetrical Regulation: Risk, Preemption, and the Floor/Ceiling Distinction". 82 N.Y.U.L. Rev. 1547 (December 2007).

Buzbee, William W. "A Sprawl's Dynamics: A Comparative Institutional Analysis Critique". 35 Wake Forest L. Rev. 509 (Fall 2000).

Coan, Andrew B. "Judicial Capacity and the Substance of Constitutional Law". 122 Yale L.J. 422 (2012).

Coan, Andrew B. "Is There a Constitutional Right to Select the Genes of One's Offspring?" 63 Hastings L.J. 233, (December, 2011).

Cross, Frank B. "Shattering the Fragile Case for Judicial Review of Rulemaking". 85 Va. L. Rev. 1243 (October 1999).

Dau-Schmidt, Kenneth G. "Employment Security: A Comparative Institutional Debate". 74 Tex. L. Rev. 1645 (June 1996).

Knauer, Nancy J. "Aging in the United States: Rethinking Justice, Equality, and Identity across the Lifespan". 21 Temp. Pol. & Civ. Rts. L. Rev. 305 (Spring, 2012).

Knauer, Nancy J. "The Recognition of Same-Sex Relationships: Comparative Institutional Analysis, Contested Social Goals, and Strategic Institutional Choice". 28 Hawaii L. Rev. 23 (Winter 2005).

Komesar, Neil K. "Stranger in a Strange Land: An Outsider’s View of Antitrust and the Courts". 41 Loyola University Chicago L. J. 443 (2010).

Komesar, Neil K. "The Revolution in Landlord-Tenant Law: A Comparative Institutional View". 69 Cornell L. Rev. 612 (1984).

Komesar, Neil K. "In Search of a General Approach to Legal Analysis: A Comparative Institutional Alternative". 79 Mich. L. Rev. 1380 (1981).

Shaffer, Gregory. Comparative Institutional Analysis and a New Legal Realism. For University of Wisconsin Law Review Symposium. NLR Working Paper, Series 2 (2013)

Full list of readings on New Legal Realism and Comparative Institutional Analysis

* Wisconsin Law Review Symposium: 30 Years of Comparative Institutional Analysis- A Celebration of Neil Komesar (October 19-20, 2012)
Videos of the panels
Wisconsin Law Review Symposium Issue (2013, No. 2)