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Empirical Legal Studies: How to Read an Empirical Paper in Law

October 3, 2017 @ 9:30 am - 11:30 pm

Arevik Avedian, HLS’ in-house statistician, will talk about how to read an empirical paper in law. This session is particularly recommended for those of you who have little to no training in empirical methods. It will cover general empirical paper structures, basic statistical analysis and interpreting tables and results. We will focus on how to read empirical papers critically, assessing validity and reliability of methods and data.  We will discuss two papers (email Elena for materials). Although we understand that you might not have time to read the papers prior to the session, we recommend that you at least skim to get a sense of their structure:

  1. Steven Levitt (1997), “Using Electoral Cycles in Policy Hiring to Estimate the Effect of Police on Crime”, American Economic Review
  2. Ethan M. J. Lieber (2014), “Medical Malpractice Reform, the Supply of Physicians, and Adverse Selection”, Journal of Law and Economics

The Harvard Empirical Legal Studies (HELS) series explores a range of empirical methods, both qualitative and quantitative, and their application in legal scholarship in different areas of the law. It is a platform for engaging with current empirical research, hearing from leading scholars working in a variety of fields, and developing empirical projects.

The group is open to all interested students and scholars. No prior background in empirical legal research is necessary. Please RSVP to by noon on Friday September 29.

Email Elena to be added to the mailing list.


October 3, 2017
9:30 am - 11:30 pm
Event Categories:
Graduate Program


WCC 3011
1585 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA United States
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Elena Chachko