Qualitative and Quantitative Research on Tort Law Topics: A Comment on Helland & Klick and Kritzer

Tom Baker 1 , 1
  • 1 University of Connecticut, tom.baker@law.uconn.edu

Although Helland & Klick and Kritzer employ very different research methods, the two papers are alike in demonstrating the complementary nature of qualitative and quantitative empirical research. Using quantitative methods, Helland & Klick find an interesting positive relationship between the intensity of insurance market regulation and the likelihood of an insurer facing a class action in a given state. Future qualitative research will be necessary to adequately interpret this finding. Based on preliminary qualitative research Kritzer explores a variety of issues relating to defense practice that, as he acknowledges, will require additional qualitative and quantitative research to develop. For tort scholars, the papers present a useful snapshot of empirical research in the early stages of developing a new subfield in the study of tort law in action.

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