In this paper some studies with respect to empirical socio-economic research which has been undertaken in belgium and the netherlands concerning the functioning of legal rules and institutions are discussed. The paper focuses on the domains of criminal law, civil procedure, liability and insurance. The paper argues that contrary to the overwhelming economic literature on liability and insurance, the empirical results in that domain are poor. More research is undertaken in the area of criminal law and apparently it is overwhelming in the area of civil procedure. The latter studies are, however, mainly undertaken by socio-legal scholars and less by economists. The general conclusion of the empirical studies discussed seems to be that while the empirical literature on the effect of changes in the decision making environment on rational actions in the legal system is rich and provocative, there is much less empirical testing of the effects of legal rules as such on allocational outcomes. The paper argues that much more effort should be devoted to the latter issue.