Faculty Positions


Research Interests

David Abrams is an empirical economist whose work brings to bear modern econometric techniques to a variety of topics in economics, with a particular focus on law and economics. Ongoing projects are mostly of an empirical bent, and address a range of questions. Some of these include: the impact of advertising and payments to physicians on pharmaceutical choice; the effect of medical resident work hour limits on patient outcomes; the efficacy of diffuse monitoring on driver safety; and the value of expanded intellectual property protection. Recent research has included investigations into attorney performance, judicial bail setting, the deterrent effect of incarceration, and the impact of race in criminal sentencing. Additionally, Abrams has begun a series of projects which make use of the unique experimental environment of virtual worlds to answer an array of economic and legal questions.

Selected Publications

Abrams D.  How Do we Decide How Long to Incarcerate?  In Empirical Legal Analysis:  Assessing the Performance of Legal Institutions (Yun-chien Chang, ed., 2013).

Abrams D.  Putting the Trial Penalty on Trial. Duquesne L. Rev. 2013; 51:777.

Abrams D, Wagner P.  Poisoning the Next Apple:  How the America Invents Act Harms Inventors.  Stan L. Rev.  2013; 65:517.

Abrams D.  The Imprisoner's Dilemma:  A Cost-Benefit Approach to Incarceration.  Iowa L. Rev. 2013; 98:905.

Abrams D, Chen DL.  A Market for Justice:  A First Empirical Look at Third Party Litigation Funding.  U. PA. J. Bus. L. 2013; 15:1075.

Abrams D.  Estimating the Deterrent Effect of Incarceration Using Sentencing Enhancements.  Am. Econ. J.. 2012; 4:32.

Abrams D, Bertrand M, Mullainathan S.  Do Judges Vary in Their Treatment of Race? J. Legal Stud. 2012; 41:347.

Abrams D.  Is Pleading Really a Bargain?  J. Empirical Legal Stud. 2011; 8:200.

Abrams D.  Third-Party Litigation Funding.  Reg. Winter 2011-12; 34:3.

Abrams D, Rohlfs C.  Optimal Bail and Value of Freedom:  Evidence from the Philadelphia Bail Experiment.  Econ. Inquiry.  2011; 49:750-770.

Abrams D.  Did TRIPS Spur Innovation?  An Analysis of Patent Duration and Incentives to Innovate.  U. PA. L. Rev. 2009; 157:1613.

Abrams D , Yoon A. The Luck of the Draw: Using Random Case Assignment to Investigate Attorney Ability.  Chi L. Rev. 2007; 74:1145. 

Abrams D, Akerib D et al.  Present Status of the Cryogenic Dark Matter Search (CDMS II) Experiment.  Physica B-Condensed Matter.  2003; 329:1590.

Abrams D, Akerib D et. al. Exclusion Limits on the WIMP-nucleon Cross Section from the Cryogenic Dark Matter Search. Physical Review D. 2002; 66:122003-1-35.

Abrams D, Saab T, et al.  Deployment of the First CMS II ZIP Detectors at the Stanford Underground Facility.  Nuclear Physics B, Proceedings Supplements. 2002; 110:100.


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