A professor at the Harvard Business School, Pankaj Ghemawat, researched six key measures of cross-border economic and other business activity. He looked at telephone calls, management research, direct investment, private charity, stock investment, and trade. His conclusion belies the stridency of those who trumpet rampant internationalization: “Most types of economic activity that might cross borders are still largely concentrated domestically,” Harvard Bus. Rev., Aug. 2006 at 32.
The percentage of trade, at about 26 percent, was much higher than direct investment (below 10%) and all the others clustered around 10 percent. What this suggests for law departments is that truly international legal work is the exception; by far the largest portion of in half-housework is applying domestic law (See my posts of March 19, 2006 about the modest need for “international” lawyers in US law departments; and April 9, 2005 to similar effect.).