Empirical Legal Scholarship that is Both Sound and Relevant

Empirical legal research is an evidence-based, inductive method of inquiry that systematically unearths, analyses, and interprets ‘facts’ in connection with the law and its various social and institutional manifestations. Its core consists of applying empirical methods that have been well established in the social and behavioural sciences. Its epistemic goal is causal inference. Because of its deep scientific outlook, broad scope of social coverage, and high level of systematisation, empirical legal research is thriving and enjoys a place of growing importance in our legal world. As an instructive counter-point to our opening perspectival and doctrinally-focused topics, Professor Christoph Engel’s presentation on empirical legal scholarship aims to instruct Max Planck Law researchers on how best to ‘look reality in the eye’ in our bid to test how far our laws and legal interventions are based in observable phenomena and changing social realities.

Professor Dr Dr hc Christoph Engel is a Director at the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods . His research focuses on experimental law and economics, behavioural law and economics, and economic law.

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