Law and economics is divided between the consequentialist view that optimal policy should be based on calculations of costs and benefits and a non-consequentialist view that policy should be determined deontologically: from duties we derive what is the correct law–what is right and just.

Are there deontological motivations, and if there are, how might we formally model these motivations? What are the implications of things like deontological motivations for economics methods and policy, and what puzzles can we explain with deontological motivations that we cannot with standard models? What is the impact of law & economics on justice?

To answer these questions, his research has

  • curated 12 terabytes of archival and administrative data on judges and courts where normative ideas incubate; the data bridge machine learning, causal inference, and normative theories of justice regarding equal treatment before the law and equality based on recognition of difference
  • developed a programming language to study normative commitments in experiments, now used in over 23 countries, 10 academic disciplines, private and public sectors, and local high schools
  • spearheaded randomized impact evaluations to improve justice with high-frequency administrative data in 17 countries

Some current themes on consequences, formation, and measurement of normative commitments (and applications in law) include:

  • Law and Development tracing the incentives that led to what are now viewed as human rights violations
  • Markets and Morality how market forces interact with normative commitments
  • Behavioral Judging social and psychological, economic and political influences on legal ideas and production of justice
  • Law and Legitimacy role of legitimacy in legal compliance
  • Demography of Ideas economics of interpretation (hermemetrics) as a source of normative commitments
  • AI and Rule of Law leveraging normative commitments to facilitate access to justice

His research has been accepted in leading economics journals (American Economic Review, Econometrica, Journal of Political Economy, and Quarterly Journal of Economics), computer science journals (Journal of Machine Learning Research), science journals (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Science Advances), double-blind peer-review law outlets (Stanford-Yale Junior Faculty Forum and Law and STEM Junior Faculty Forum), 5 NeurIPS selections (Machine Learning and Law, Interpretable Machine Learning, CausalML, ML for Economic Policy, and AI for Credible Elections), and press outlets (Washington Post and Wall Street Journal) and has been referenced in 2 National Academy of Sciences Study Reports (Deterrence and the Death Penalty (2012) and Decarcerating Correctional Facilities during COVID-19 (2020)).

The research has anchored successful applications with € 4 500 000 in grant budget awarded for “Origins and Effects of Normative Commitments”, “Positive Foundations of Normative Commitments”, “Digital Humanities: Legal Analysis in a Big Data World”, “The Impact of Justice Innovations on Poverty, Growth, and Development”, “High-Dimensional Econometrics Applications in Law and Economics”, “Markets and Morality: Do Free Markets Corrode Moral Values?”, and "oTree: An Open-Source Platform for Online, Lab, and Field Experiments", and received support from The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, European Research Council Consolidator Grant, Swiss National Science Foundation, Russell Sage Foundation, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, DFID, Google Inclusion, and Agence Nationale de la Recherche. His work has also been supported by the International Growth Centre, Knowledge for Trust Fund, MacArthur Foundation, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, Social Science Research Council, Templeton Foundation, Earhart Foundation, Institute for Humane Studies, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, and National Science Foundation.

He has served on the Program Committees of NAACL Natural Legal Language Processing, Econometric Society Meetings, European Economic Association, American Law and Economics Association, and European Law and Economics Association, and been invited to deliver keynotes at the European Law and Economics Association, French Law and Economics Association, International Conference on Computational Social Science (IC2S2), AI, law, and behavioral science conferences, and the 2018 Heremans Lectures in Law & Economics.

DE JURE (Data and Evidence for Justice Reform)’s aim is to revolutionize how legitimacy and equality in justice systems are measured, understood, and enhanced. The goal is to move from studying historical data to working with administrative data, machine learning, and RCTs to achieve a more just system. The program has thus far worked with countries in three broad categories. In the first group, DE JURE works closely with court management, judiciaries, and training academies to design, deploy, and evaluate interventions—often developing the technologies to do so. In the second group, DE JURE works with auxiliary actors involved in access to justice to assess trustworthy Artificial Intelligence (AI) and trust in the law. In the third group, DE JURE obtains data and conducts historical analyses on judicial efficiency or inconsistencies that may spur a cycle of change.



invited to resubmit

Gender Attitudes in the Judiciary: Evidence from U.S. Circuit Courts
E. Ash, A. Ornaghi

The Deterrent Effect of the Death Penalty? Evidence from British Commutations During World War I
American Economic Review

Ideas Have Consequences: The Impact of Law and Economics on American Justice
Quarterly Journal of Economics; E. Ash, S. Naidu

Covering: Mutable Characteristics and Perceptions of Voice in the U.S. Supreme Court
Review of Economic Studies; Y. Halberstam, A. Yu

Can Policies Affect Preferences? Theory and Evidence from Random Variation in Abortion Jurisprudence
American Economic Journal: Economic Policy; V. Levonyan, S. Yeh

How Do Rights Revolutions Occur? Free Speech and the First Amendment
Economic Journal; S. Yeh

Mapping the Geometry of Law using Document Embeddings
Science Advances; S. Bhupatiraju; K. Venkataramanan

A Theory of Experiments: Invariance of Equilibrium to the Strategy Method of Elicitation and Implications
Journal of the Economic Science Association; M. Schonger

Testing Axiomatizations of Ambiguity Aversion
Theory and Decision; M. Schonger

Machine Prediction of Political Polarization from Circuit Court Judgements
W. Lu

Is Ambiguity Aversion a Preference? Ambiguity Aversion Without Asymmetric Information
Journal of Economic Psychology; M. Schonger

Best to be Last: Serial Position Effects in Legal Decisions in the Field and in the Lab
Journal of Applied Psychology; O. Plonsky, Y. Feldman, T. Steiner, L. Nitzer

The Political Economy of Beliefs: Why Fiscal and Social Conservatives/Liberals Come Hand-in-Hand
Journal of Comparative Economics; J. Lind

under review

Training Policy-Makers in Econometrics
American Economic Review; S. Mehmood, S. Naseer

Training Effective Altruism
Nature; S. Mehmood, S. Naseer

Review of Economic Studies; S. Mehmood, A. Seror

Who Cares? Measuring Attitude Strength in a Polarized Environment
Journal of Politics; C. Cavaille, K. Van der Straeten

Racial Sentencing Disparities and the Role of Differential Stadial Progression Through the Criminal Justice System: Evidence From Federal and State Courts
American Economic Review: Insights; B. McConnell

Legitimizing Policy
American Political Science Review; M. Michaeli, D. Spiro

Grit and Academic Resilience During Covid-19
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences; S. Ertac, T. Evgeniou, A. Nadaf, X. Miao, E. Yilmaz

Do Judges Favor their Own Ethnicity and Gender? Evidence from Kenya
Journal of Political Economy; J. Graham, M. Ramos-Maqueda, S. Singh

Measuring Gender or Religious Bias in the Indian Judiciary
Quarterly Journal of Economics; E. Ash, S. Asher, A. Bhowmick, S. Bhupatiraju, T. Devi, C. Goessmann, P. Novosad, B. Siddiqi

Motivated Reasoning in the Field: Polarization of Precedent, Prose, and Policy in U.S. Circuit Courts, 1930-2013
American Economic Review: Insights; W. Lu

Markets and Morality: How Markets Shape Our (Dis)Regard For Others
Journal of the European Economic Association; E. Reinhart

The Disavowal of Decisionism in American Law: Political Motivation in the Judiciary
Stanford Law Review; E. Reinhart

Incremental AI
MIT Computatinoal Law

Clash of Norms: Judicial Leniency on Defendant Birthdays
Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization; A. Philippe

Mood and the Malleability of Moral Reasoning: The Impact of Irrelevant Factors on Judicial Decision Making
Economic Journal; M. Loecher

Non-Confrontational Extremists
European Economic Review; M. Michaeli, D. Spiro

Priming Ideology? Why Do Presidential Elections Affect U.S. Judges
American Political Science Review

The Strategic Display of Emotions
Management Science; A. Hopfensitz, J. Van Der Ven, B. Van Leeuwen

Do Markets Overcome Repugnance? Muslim Trade Response to Anti-Muhammad Cartoons
European Economic Review

Growth Under the Shadow of Expropriation? The Economics Impacts of Eminent Domain
Journal of Legal Studies; S. Yeh

Insiders, Outsiders, and Involuntary Unemployment: Sexual Harassment Exacerbates Gender Inequality
American Journal of Law and Equality; J. Sethi

Judicial Compliance in District Courts
International Review of Law and Economics; J. Frankenreiter

The Role of Justice in Development: The Data Revolution
Journal of Economic Literature; M. Ramos-Maqueda

Who Is In Justice? Caste, Religion, and Gender In the Courts of Bihar Over a Decade
Economics and Political Weekly; S. Bhupatiraju, S. Joshi, P. Neis


Quadratic Voting for Survey Research (QVSR): A Platform for Deploying QV in Survey Contexts NeurIPS21 oral
Journal of Machine Learning Research (W&CP); M. Bassetti, C. Cavaille, A. Mortoni

COVID-19 Within Families Amplifies the Prosociality Gap Between Adolescents of High and Low Socioeconomic Status
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences; M. Sutter, C. Terrier

Article Slides

Association of Jail Decarceration and Anti-Contagion Policies with Covid-19 Case Growth Rates in United States Counties
Journal of American Medical Association Network Open; E. Reinhart

Carceral-Community Epidemiology, Structural Racism, and Covid-19 Disparities
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences; E. Reinhart

Deep IV in Law: Appellate Decisions and Texts Impact Sentencing in Trial Courts NeurIPS19 oral
in Frontiers in Law, Cambridge University Press, ed. A. Bindler and R. Ferrer; Z. Huang, X. Zhang, R. Wang

Social Preferences or Sacred Values? Theory and Evidence of Deontological Motivations
Science Advances; M. Schonger

Causal Effects of Judicial Sentiment: Methods and Application to U.S. Circuit Courts
Economica; E. Ash, S. Galletta

The Promise of Machine Learning for the Courts of India
National Law School of India Review; S. Bhupatiraju, S. Joshi


Incarceration And Its Disseminations: COVID-19 Pandemic Lessons From Chicago’s Cook County Jail - A Response to Pierson et al.
Health Affairs; E. Reinhart


Mostly Harmless Machine Learning: Learning Optimal Instruments in Linear IV Models NeurIPS20
Journal of Machine Learning Research (W&CP); J. Chen, G. Lewis

Incarceration And Its Disseminations: COVID-19 Pandemic Lessons From Chicago’s Cook County Jail
Health Affairs; E. Reinhart

Releasing Nonviolent Accused Makes Us Safer in Covid Era
Wall Street Journal, June 26, 2020; E. Reinhart

Automated Fact-Value Distinction in Court Opinions
European Journal of Law and Economics, 1-17, lead article; Y. Cao, E. Ash

The Better Way to Onboard AI
Harvard Business Review, forthcoming; B. Babic, T. Evgeniou, A. Fayard

Gender Violence and the Price of Virginity: Theory and Evidence of Incomplete Marriage Contracts
Journal of Religion and Demography, forthcoming


Judicial Analytics and the Great Transformation of American Law
Artificial Intelligence and Law, 27(1), 15-42, 2019

Mandatory Disclosure: Theory and Evidence from Industry-Physician Relationships
Journal of Legal Studies, 48(2), 409-440, 2019; V. Levonyan, E. Reinhart, G. Taksler

A Decision-Theoretic Approach to Understanding Survey Response: Likert vs. Quadratic Voting for Attitudinal Research
University of Chicago Law Review Online, 22(2019); C. Cavaille, K. Van der Straeten

Machine Learning and Rule of Law
Law as Data, Santa Fe Institute Press, ed. M. Livermore and D. Rockmore, 2019(16)

Case Vectors: Spatial Representations of the Law Using Document Embeddings
Law as Data, Santa Fe Institute Press, ed. M. Livermore and D. Rockmore, 2019(11); E. Ash

Attorney Voice and the U.S. Supreme Court
Law as Data, Santa Fe Institute Press, ed. M. Livermore and D. Rockmore, 2019(13); Y. Halberstam, M. Kumar, A. Yu

Intermediated Social Preferences: Altruism in an Algorithmic Era
Advances in Economics of Religion, Vol. 158, Palgrave Macmillan, 2019, ed. J. P. Carvalho, S. Iyer, J. Rubin.


What Kind of Judge is Brett Kavanaugh? A Quantitative Analysis
Cardozo Law Review de novo, 2018; E. Ash

Kavanaugh is radically conservative. Here's the data to prove it
Washington Post, Jul 10, 2018; E. Ash

Automated Classification of Modes of Moral Reasoning in Judicial Decisions
Computational Legal Studies, 2018; N. Mainali, L. Meier, E. Ash

Law and Literature: Theory and Evidence on Empathy and Guile
Review of Law and Economics, 15(1), 2018

Tastes for Desert and Placation: A Reference Point-Dependent Model of Social Preferences
Research in Experimental Economics, Experimental Economics and Culture, Volume 20, 205-226, 2018; Bingley, UK: Emerald; ed. A. Gunnthorsdottir and D. A. Norton

Non-Segmental Conditioning of Sibilant Variation in American English
Proceedings of the 18th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences, 2018; J. Phillips, A. Yu

Analysis of Vocal Implicit Bias in SCOTUS Decisions Through Predictive Modeling
Proceedings of Experimental Linguistics, 2018; E. Ash, R. Vunikili, H. Ochani, D. Jaiswal, R. Deshmukh


Electoral Cycles Among U.S. Courts of Appeals Judges
Journal of Law and Economics, 60(3), 479-496, 2017; C. Berdejo

The Shareholder Wealth Effects of Delaware Litigation
American Law and Economics Review, 19(2), 287-326, 2017; A. Badawi

The Genealogy of Ideology: Identifying Persuasive Memes and Predicting Agreement in the U.S. Courts of Appeals
Proceedings of the ACM Conference on AI and the Law, 2017; A. Parthasarathy, S. Verma

Early Predictability of Asylum Court Decisions
Proceedings of the ACM Conference on AI and the Law, 2017; M. Dunn, L. Sagun, H. Sirin

Can Machine Learning Help Predict the Outcome of Asylum Adjudications?
Proceedings of the ACM Conference on AI and the Law, 2017; J. Eagel


Decision-Making Under the Gambler’s Fallacy: Evidence From Asylum Courts, Loan Officers, and Baseball Umpires
Quarterly Journal of Economics, 131(3): 1181-1241, 2016; T. Moskowitz, K. Shue

oTree: An Open Source Platform for Online, Lab, and Field Experiments
Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Finance, 9(1), 88-97, 2016, M. Schonger, C. Wickens

What Matters: Agreement Among U.S. Courts of Appeals Judges NeurIPS16
Journal of Machine Learning Research (W&CP), 2016; X. Cui, L. Shang, J. Zheng

Perceived Masculinity Predicts U.S. Supreme Court Outcomes
PLoS-ONE, 11(10), e0164324; Y. Halberstam, A. Yu

Are Online Labor Markets Spot Markets for Tasks? A Field Experiment on the Behavioral Response to Wages Cuts
Information Systems Research, 27(2), 403-423; J. Horton


Can Markets Stimulate Rights? On the Alienability of Legal Claims
RAND Journal of Economics, 46(1), 23-65, 2015

Investigating Variation in English Vowel-to-Vowel Coarticulation in a Longitudinal Phonetic Corpus
Proceedings of the 18th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences, 2015; C. Abrego-Collier, J. Phillips, B. Pillion, A. Yu


The Construction of Morals
Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 104, 84-105, 2014; S. Yeh

Economics, Religion, and Culture: A Brief Introduction
Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 104, 1-3, 2014; D. Hungerman


A Market for Justice: A First Empirical Look at Third-Party Litigation Funding
Journal of Business Law, 15(3), 2013; D. Abrams

Does Appellate Precedent Matter? Stock Price Responses to Appellate Court Decisions of FCC Actions
Empirical Legal Analysis: Assessing the Performance of Legal Institutions, 2013; A. Araiza, S. Yeh

Distinguishing Between Custom and Law: Empirical Examples of Endogeneity from Property and First Amendment Precedents
William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal, 21(1081), 2013; S. Yeh


Sparse Models and Methods for Optimal Instruments with an Application to Eminent Domain
Econometrica, 80(6), 2369-2429, 2012; A. Belloni, V. Chernozhukov, C. Hansen

Does Disclosure Matter?
Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics, 168(1), 120-123, 2012

'Not that Smart': Sonia Sotomayor and the Construction of Merit
Emory Law Journal, 61(4), 2012; G. Charles, M. Gulati


Designing Incentives for Inexpert Human Raters
Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, 2011; J. Horton, A. Shaw

Can Countries Reverse Fertility Decline? Evidence from France's Marriage and Baby Bonuses, 1929-1981
International Tax and Public Finance, 118(3), 252-271, 2011

Trading Off Reproductive Technology and Adoption: A Response to Appleton and Pollak
Minnesota Law Review, 95(6), 2011; I. G. Cohen


Club Goods and Group Identity: Evidence from Islamic Resurgence During the Indonesian Financial Crisis
Journal of Political Economy, 118(2), 300-354, 2010

Trading Off Reproductive Technology and Adoption: Do IVF Subsidies Decrease Adoption Rates and Should It Matter? Stanford-Yale Junior Faculty Forum
Minnesota Law Review, 95(2), 2010; I. G. Cohen


Islamic Resurgence and Social Violence During the Indonesian Financial Crisis
Institutions and Norms in Economic Development, MIT Press, ed. M. Gradstein and K. Konrad, 179-200, 2007

Religion, Welfare Politics, and Church-State Separation
Journal of Ecumenical Studies, 42(1), 42-52, 2007; J. Lind


Income Distribution Dynamics with Endogenous Fertility
Journal of Economic Growth, 7(3), 227-258, 2002; M. Kremer


Income-Distribution Dynamics with Endogenous Fertility
American Economic Review: Papers and Proceedings, 89(2), 155-160, 1999; M. Kremer


An Empirical Study Comparing the Controlled Random Search Procedure and the General Simulated Annealing Method for Function Optimization
Proceedings of the Fourth Annual District of Columbia Computer Conference, 1995

In preparation for submission

Making Information Actionable: Evidence from a Nationwide Experiment in Kenyan Courts
Econometrica; M. Chemin, V. Di Maro, M. Ramos-Maqueda

When Matching Markets Unravel: Theory and Evidence from Federal Judicial Clerkships
Journal of Political Economy; Y. He, T. Yamashita

Algorithms as Prosecutors: Lowering Rearrest Rates Without Disparate Impacts and Identifying Defendant Characteristics ‘Noisy’ to Human Decision-Makers Law and STEM Junior Faculty Forum NeurIPS17
Quarterly Journal of Economics; R. Carroll, B. McConnell

Mostly Harmless Machine Learning: Learning Optimal Instruments in Linear IV Models NeurIPS20
J. Chen, G. Lewis

Birds of a Feather Flock Together? Transmission of Behavioral Traits in Endogenous Peer Networks
P. Bhargava, M. Sutter, C. Terrier

Optimal Survey Design for Prediction
C. Cavaille, R. Das, K. Van der Straeten

The Prejudices of Economic Ideology: The Exacerbation of Racial and Gender Inequalities by Economics Training for Judges, A Natural Experiment
American Economic Review; B. McConnell, E. Reinhart

Self-Corrosion of Law: Effects of Criminal Justice Exposure on Perceptions of Law’s Legitimacy
Quarterly Journal of Economics; B. McConnel, A. Philippe, E. Reinhart

Supreme Court Vacancies and Discretionary Opinion Writing in Federal Circuit Courts
Journal of Public Economics; W. Lu

The Judicial Superego: Implicit Egoism, Internalized Racism, and Prejudice in Three Million Sentencing Decisions
S. Hajdini, E. Reinhart, L. Sumah

Racial Classification in the Criminal Justice System
B. McConnell, E. Reinhart

Mis-Specified Disparities: An Application in Criminal Sentencing
B. McConnell

How Prosecutors Exacerbate Racial Disparities
B. McConnell, E. Reinhart

The Legal Reproduction of Racism: Determinants of Sentencing Disparities
B. McConnell, E. Reinhart

Improving Legal Training: The Impact of Social-Emotional Learning on Judicial Performance
M. Ramos-Maqueda, B. Silveira

Improving Legal Training: The Impact of Personalized Class Monitoring on Judicial Performance
M. Ramos-Maqueda, B. Silveira

Information Provision and Court Performance: Experimental Evidence from Chile
P. Carrillo, M. Ramos-Maqueda, B. Silveira

Correlates of Implicit Attitudes Among Judges: Experimental Evidence from Peru
M. Ramos-Maqueda

Judicial Inattention: Machine Prediction of Appeal Success in U.S. Asylum Courts

The Relativity of Racial Perception: Color Contrast Effects in Refugee Courts
E. Reinhart

Social Contagion and Political Ideology: Evidence from Repeated Random Exposure in the U.S. Courts of Appeals
E. Reinhart

The Relationality of Judgement: Social Dynamics of Opinion-Formation in U.S. Courts of Appeals
E. Reinhart

The Propagation of Economic Ideology: Peer Effects in Language Use in U.S. Appeals Courts
E. Reinhart

Malpractice Risk of Treatment Choices: Evaluating Legal Cases with CMS Microdata
E. Reinhart, E. Sun

Patients for Purchase: The Effects of Pharmaceutical Company Payments on Physician Prescribing Behavior and Patient Outcomes
E. Reinhart, E. Sun

Protest and Political Accountability: The Electoral Effects of Protest Rights and Rates
E. Reinhart

Mimicry: Phonetic Accommodation Predicts U.S. Supreme Court Votes
A. Yu

Economic Distress Stimulates Religious Fundamentalism

Confusing Average and Marginal Tax Rates: Experimental Evidence

The Economics of Crowdsourcing: A Theory of Disaggregated Labor Markets

How Does Science Progress? A Statistical Approach to Postmodern Theories of Knowledge

Selected Drafts

Learning Policy Levers: Toward Automated Policy Analysis Using Judicial Corpora
R. Delgado, E. Fierro, S. Lin

Predicting Bankruptcy Decisions Using Judicial Corpora
D. Cai

Is Justice Really Blind? And Is It Also Deaf?
M. Kumar

Precedent vs. Politics? Case Similarity Predicts Supreme Court Decisions Better Than Ideology

Affirm or Reverse? Using Machine Learning To Help Judges Write Opinions

Religious Freedoms, Church-State Separation, and Religiosity: Evidence from Randomly Assigned Judges

Law and Norms: A Machine Learning Approach to Predicting Attitudes Towards Abortion
K. Kwan, M. Maass, L. Ortiz

Predicting Punitiveness and Sentencing Disparities from Judicial Corpora

Tone of Voice Predicts Political Attitudes: Evidence from U.S. Supreme Court Oral Arguments
Y. Kadiri, Z. Pajor-Gyulai, T. Leble

Using Machine Learning to Detect Human Rights Abuses


Tools and Techniques for Machine Learning Syllabus
NYU Courant Institute of Mathematics Center for Data Science (G2) (project advisor)

Incremental AI
Toulouse School of Economics (Executive Education)

Stanford, Georgetown (project advisor)

Natural Language Understanding and Computational Semantics Syllabus
NYU Courant Institute of Mathematics Center for Data Science (G2, Capstone, France) (project advisor)

Law and Economics Reading List
Toulouse School of Economics (G), Summer School: Behavioral Economics and Experimental Research (PhD), ETH Zurich (G1), Duke Law, cross-listed Economics (3L/G1), Duke Law (3L)

Legitimacy, Law, and Recognition-Respect (Heremans Lectures in Law & Economics)
KU Leuven (JD)

Machine Learning, Causal Inference, and Judicial Analytics
Toulouse School of Economics (G1) and (G2)

Machine Learning and Computational Statistics Syllabus
NYU Courant Institute of Mathematics Center for Data Science (G1) (project advisor)

Experimental Economics: Sources of Normativity
Toulouse School of Economics (G1)

Positive Foundations of Normative Commitments
Institutional and Organizational Economics Academy (PhD), Hebrew Law (3L)

Contract Law
Duke Law (1L)

Hermemetrics Lab: The Economics of Interpretation
Harvard Economics (So)

Theorizing Cultural Differences: The Economics of Fundamentalism
University of Chicago Economics (Sr)

Decision Theory
Harvard Engineering Sciences (G1) (teaching fellow)

Data Science Justice Collaboratory

We are always looking for curious, dedicated people interested in getting involved with research at the postdoctoral, doctoral, or pre-doctoral level. See research statement for background on current research. Brief summary of ongoing projects analyzing 12 terabytes of curated archival and administrative data on judges and courts: Slides

Interested graduate and postdoctoral applicants should email a current CV, sample publication or manuscript, short description of research interests (2 pages or less), and names of 3 references. Undergraduate applicants should have a strong mathematical or computational background, broad knowledge in statistical methods, and experience with large data sets. For example, see 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020 machine learning projects.

oTree applicants should have Django, Python, and web development experience. Applicants should also have leadership and organizational skills as the position may require playing a leadership role as well as supervising research assistants.


1. Link administrative Medicare data to industry-physician relationships cleaned from litigation settlements (a comprehensive dataset is available through the Affordable Care Act) to examine the impact of disclosure laws and the impact of pharmaceutical company payments to doctors on prescribing, patient outcomes, and patient adherence.

2. Automate advances in high-dimensional econometrics for causal effects of court precedent where judges are randomly assigned. Apply method in legal areas where we have already hand-coded data (sexual harassment, eminent domain, free speech, abortion, church-state separation, affirmative action, gay rights, disability rights, campaign finance, capital punishment, criminal appeals, desegregation, sex discrimination, punitive damages, federalism, National Labor Review Board, environmental protection, National Environmental Policy Act, Federal Communications Commission, Title VII, First Amendment, Eleventh Amendment, standing, contracts, and corporate veil piercing are among the 25 polarized legal areas) to study the channels through which legal regulations have their effects. Use high-frequency data to buttress assumptions of exogeneity and precedence. Examine whether law shapes values and conceptions of rights.

3. Develop oTree for running real-time experiments in lab, online, or via smart device in the field for new ways of measuring preferences. Show, e.g., how presence of deontological commitments can problematize widely used experimental methods involving random lottery incentive and strategy method; theoretically and empirically probe foundations of polarization; test assumptions in private law and judicial decision-making. oTree is open-source and an innovation on zTree.

4. Digitize universe of US Circuit Court cases from 1880 to 2013 (roughly 380,000 cases), the identities of randomly assigned judges sitting on the panels and authoring the opinions, the dissents and concurrences, the judges' biographies, the hand-labeled legal topic, the citation network among the cases, and 2 billion N-grams of up to length eight. Link publicly available Supreme Court datasets, US District docket datasets, geocoded judge seats, biographies of judicial clerks, 5% random sample hand-labeled for hundreds of features including vote ideology, oral arguments, and administrative data from Administrative Office of the US Courts (date of key milestones, e.g., oral arguments, when was the last brief filed, etc.) for measuring priming of identity, implicit bias, peer effects, perfectionism, partisan ways of persuasion, judicial innovation, career incentives, how markets unravel, potential Supreme Court nominees, geometry of law, legal reasoning, fact vs. value, judicial policy levers, and the genealogy of ideologies and schools of thought in temporally and spatially disaggregated text. Use algorithmic mechanism design, LASSO, and automated text analysis for court precedent project and citation data for econometrics of networks.

5. Digitize World War I British archival datasets, including universe of deserters reported in military diaries, police gazettes, and handwritten military trials, commuted and executed capital sentences, geocoded casualties, maps, officer lists, and order of battle to examine the role of legitimacy in legal compliance, effect of the death penalty on British vs. Irish soldiers, and potential long-run impact of demographic violence.

6. Curate universe of administrative data on 1 million refugee asylum and 15 million hearing sessions and their time of day across 50 courthouses and 20 years (with randomly assigned judges), 1 million criminal sentencing decisions in US District Courts from 1992-2009 (with randomly assigned judges), and hand-collected biographical data to study gambler's fallacy, implicit egoism, habit formation, racial contrast, mood, inattention, interpellation, revealed preference indifference, sequence effects, and time of day effects on judges' normative commitments.

7. Link universe of individuals in a district attorney's office over a decade with many stages of random assignment, linked to administrative data on wages, education, credit, among other life outcomes, and past and current addresses for survey follow-up to measure, e.g., name letter effects, how algorithms can reduce disparate impacts and identify noisy characteristics to human decision makers, perceived legitimacy of law using a tool like oTree, and the long-run effects of forced migration.

8. Digitize speech patterns in US Supreme Court oral arguments since 1955 - longitudinal data on speech intonation (linguistic turns) are rare. Link to oral advocates' biographies, faces, clipped identical introductory sentences, and ratings of their traits. Test labor market treatment of mutable characteristics and persuasion, and mimicry between lawyers and Justices and among Justices over time using high-dimensional econometrics.

9. Over 1000 legal databases tagged and linked including all federal (supreme, appellate, district, bankruptcy, tax, patent, trade, customs, claims, unpublished) and state (supreme, appellate, district, tax, chancery, family, labor, unpublished) court cases to the earliest available date (some as early as 1778). Types of databases include code, statutes, bills, regulations, bulletins and notices, commission decisions, Attorney General opinions, rulings, statements, opinion letters, bill tracking, workers' compensation decisions, municipal codes, physician discipline decisions, market conduct examinations, issuances, directives, public health reports, FTC, IRS, EEOC, Department of Labor, Department of Defense, EPA, SEC, Federal Reserve, contract appeals decisions, legislative service, manuals, etc.

10. Case records collected from 24 High Courts and 3000 subordinate courts in India with details on over 8.7 million case records and 67 million hearings. Study (1) impact of court functioning on economic growth and inequality, (2) impact of economics, political, or psychological factors on court outcomes, (3) impact of court decisions or precedents on individuals' outcomes, and (4) artificial intelligence applications. Analogous datasets from Chile, Peru, Brazil, Bangladesh, Croatia, Kenya, and the Philippines.

Advising (former research group members by cohort)

High School (Montgomery Blair): Tom Chi (Google X Co-Founder), David Rosenberg (Sense Networks and YP Mobile Labs Chief Scientist, Bloomberg, Chief Data Scientist at Hawkfish)

Undergraduate (Harvard, MIT, UPenn, Toronto, Zurich): Michael Boutros (Duke Economics PhD, Bank of Canada), Daniel Brenner (Harvard Applied Mathematics MS), Brian Chen (Harvard Economics PhD, Goldman Sachs), David Costigan (AQR, Harvard Law JD, Harvard Statistics MS), Colin Cross (Google), Cheng Gao (Harvard Business School PhD, Michigan Business School tenure-track), Will Gaybrick (Yale JD, Hunch Founder, Thrive Capital Partner, Stripe CFO/CPO), Ronald Kamdem (Morgan Stanley), Scott Kominers (Harvard Business School PhD, Chicago Becker Friedman, Junior Society of Fellows, Harvard Business School tenure-track), Da Lin (Harvard Applied Mathematics MS, Harvard JD, Harvard Climenko, Richmond Law tenure-track), Raphael Nehmer (LSE Mathematical Economics MSc), Eric Reinhart (Harvard Social Anthropology PhD, University of Chicago MD, Chicago Psychoanalytic Institute, School of the Art Institute of Chicago lecturer, Northwestern Psychiatry), Natalia Rigol (MIT Economics PhD, Harvard Business School tenure-track), Tarun Singh (Google), Chris Wickens (Microsoft, oTree), Chengzi Xu (Harvard Economics PhD, Stanford Business School tenure-track), Josh Zagorsky (Zagaron Founder/CEO)

Pre-doc (DE JURE, ETH, Michigan): Luca Braghieri (Stanford Economics PhD, LMU Munich tenure-track), Stefan Bucher (NYU Economics PhD), Brian Daza (Michigan Economics PhD), Sarah Eichmeyer (Stanford Economics PhD, LMU Munich tenure-track), Linfeng Li (Michigan Information PhD), Kelly Reeves (ETH Zurich Biostatistics MS), Beatriz Ribeiro (LSE Economics PhD), Alexander Sandukovskiy (biotech startup), Florian Schneider (Zurich Economics PhD), Kartik Srivastava (Harvard Kennedy PhD), Michal Zator (Northwestern MEDS PhD, University of Notre Dame tenure-track)

Master (Chicago, Duke, ENS-Cachan, NYU, Toulouse, Zurich): Aroha Bahuguna (World Bank), Matthew Dunn (LivePerson Chief Data Scientist), Benjamin Jakubowski (NYU Computer Science PhD), Manish Kumar (Google Brain), Matthew Mauer (IvySys), Vishal Motwani (Salesforce AI), Li Li (Duke Economics PhD), Shuya Li (Carnegie Mellon Economics PhD), Yutong Li (Boston University Business PhD), Wei Lu (Toronto Business PhD), Martin Mugnier (ENS Ecole Polytechnique Econometrics PhD), Adithya Parthasarathy (Facebook), Shivam Verma (Twitter), Phil Yeres (Nvidia), Yichong Zhang (Duke Economics PhD, Sinagpore Management University tenure-track)

Law (Duke): Alberto Araiza (Morrison & Foerster), Taylor Auten (Sullivan & Cromwell), Marc Collier (Gibson Dunn), Ned Dix (Covington & Burling), Michael Mooney (Eleventh Circuit Clerkship), Jennifer Swearingen (Southern District of New York Clerkship, Quinn Emmanuel)

Doctoral (Berkeley, Harvard, ETH, NYU): Carlos Berdejo (Loyola Law tenure), Jens Frankenreiter (Harvard LLM, Max Planck Institute, Columbia Law Fellow, Washington University Law tenure-track), John Horton (NYU Stern tenure-track, MIT Sloan tenure-track), Vardges Levonyan (Zurich Economics post-doc), David Rand (Yale Psychology/Economics/Cognitive Science tenure, MIT Sloan tenure), Levent Sagun (Simons Collaboration on Cracking the Glass Problem, Facebook AI), Jasmin Sethi (Tenth Circuit Clerkship, Securities and Exchange Commission, Blackrock), Aaron Shaw (Northwestern Sociology/Communications tenure-track)

Postdoc (Chicago, Duke, ETH, EUI, Harvard, Princeton, Toulouse, Warwick): David Abrams (University of Pennsylvania Law, Business Economics, Public Policy tenure), Elliott Ash (Warwick Economics tenure-track, ETH Zurich Law, Economics, Data Science tenure-track), Glenn Cohen (Harvard Law tenure), Damian Kozbur (Zurich Economics tenure-track), Markus Loecher (Berlin HWR Statistics tenure), Moti Michaeli (Haifa Economics tenure-track), Arianna Ornaghi (British Academy), Arnaud Philippe (Bristol Economics tenure-track), Martin Schonger (Lucerne tenure-track), Glen Taksler (Cleveland Clinic tenure-track), Susan Yeh (George Mason Law tenure-track, Charles River Associates)

oTree (last update in 2016)

oTree is used in Australia (Melbourne, Newcastle, Perth, Queensland), Austria (Innsbruck, Vienna), Belgium (Leige), Canada (Guelph, Toronto), China (Beijing), Czech (Prague), Finland (Aalto), France (CReA Defense, Lille, Montpellier, Nice, Toulouse), Germany (GfK Marketing Research, Mannheim, Munich), Hungary (Academy of Sciences), Italy (Bologna, European University Institute), Japan (Tokyo), Kenya (Nairobi), Korea (Seoul), Netherlands (Amsterdam, Maastricht, Nijmegen, Tilburg, United Nations University, Utrecht), Norway (Norwegian School of Economics), Russia (RANEPA), South Africa (Pretoria), Spain (Madrid, Malaga, Valencia, Zaragoza), Sweden (Gothenburg, Stockholm), Switzerland (ETH, Geneva, Lausanne, Zurich), U.K. (Cambridge, Lancaster, Oxford), and U.S. (Boston College, Carnegie-Mellon, Colby, Columbia, Google, Iowa State, Michigan State, Northwestern, NYU, Ohio State, Princeton, Treasury Department, UC-Irvine, UCSC, UCSD, University of Chicago, Vanderbilt, Stanford, Yale), in conjunction with ERC Horizon 2020 project to design software for large-scale networks, voting, macroeconomics, and mixed agent-based experiments in economics and psychology, and used with subject recruitment platform for global experiments.!forum/otree;;


Daniel L Chen
21 allée de Brienne
31015 Toulouse Cedex 6
Google scholar profile