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date: 18 February 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Quantitative legal history is in a rather sorry state. Only about a quarter of recent works of legal history use even simple quantitative methods (such as tables or graphs), and articles or books with more sophisticated methods, such as regression analysis, are extremely rare. The infrequent use of quantitative techniques is also a missed opportunity. Scholars from other fields, including economics, sociology, and political science, are using statistics to analyse legal history. Such analysis is particularly helpful in understanding the effect of legal change and in analysing the influence of multiple factors on legislation, judicial decision-making, and citizen behaviour. This chapter first assesses quantitatively the use of quantitative methods in legal history. It then discusses a few examples of the successful use of numbers and statistics in recent books addressing legal historical topics. Finally, it looks to the future of quantitative legal history.

Keywords: quantitative legal history, quantitative methods, historical analysis, quantitative analysis, law

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