Online Symposium “Empirical Turn”

Ten years ago, German legal researcher Niels Petersen published an academic manifesto (in German, accompanied by an abstract in English) analysing whether continental jurisprudence might need an "empirical turn". His article provoked various responses, including a sharply worded backlash by Ino Augsberg who criticized the "recent empiricist tone in jurisprudence". Ten years later, we revisit the debate in an Online Symposium by Law's|Empirics. Are we any wiser today? Did the passage of time vindicate one view or the other? Or was the disagreement solely about words, maybe even a misunderstanding? Our symposium lets both authors revisit the issue and update the debate, in addition to other contributors whom we asked about their views. All symposium articles...

Correspondence Experiments in Law An Empirical Approach to Anti-Discrimination Jurisprudence

Abstract | German law prohibits certain kinds of discrimination in private contract relationships. How can systemic discrimination be identified though? Recently, studies have employed "correspondence experiments", a type of field experiment related to vignette studies: Researchers assume fictitious identities to enter into contract negotiations, and systematically vary the demographic characteristics of their assumed identity. By measuring the respective reaction of other parties, researchers can therefore isolate the causal effect of specific demographic factors on discriminatory responses. A new study from Germany (just published in the academic journal NZM)...