Comment – Empirical Law and Economics: The Societas Europaea and its use within Europe
Patrick C. Leyens 1. EMPIRICAL LAW AND ECONOMICS Empirics and regressions have not always received much attention in the process of European private law harmonisation. Today, legal research has become more open to innovative methods, in line with the advance of the law and economics movement.1 Perhaps the most commonly remarked upon weakness of the economic analysis of the law is that its findings are too far removed from corporate and commercial reality.2 In his presentation,3 Horst Eidenmüller shows that and how empirical research will help to satisfy our demand for information on the practical effects European private law harmonisation has on corporate practice. With a view to European company law, the merits of the empirical method can be assessed from several different angles. To start from a historic perspective, early attempts to fully harmonise company laws in Europe failed.4 Perhaps that was not only due to the too flowery dreams of the grandfathers of European company law. A better explanation seems 1 For a critical assessment, see Siems, ‘Numerical Comparative Law – Do We Need Statistical Evidence in Order to Reduce Complexity?’, 13 Cardozo J. Int’l & Comp. L. 521 (2005). On the state of law and economics research see Schäfer and Ott, The Economic Analysis of Civil Law, Cheltenham 2004, pp. 3, 11. 2 Most prominent: Ronald H. Coase in his Nobel Prize lecture, Stockholm, 9 December 1991; available at http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/economics/laure ates/1991/coase-lecture.html (last visited: 14/08/2009). 3 The presentation by Horst Eidenmüller was based...
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