David Abrams is one of the leading young economists working in empirical law and economics. His work strives to understand and measure how individuals respond to incentives in various legal contexts. In his work on intellectual property law, he has investigated the expected impact of the America Invents Act, examined the effect of patent duration on innovation, and used natural language processing to establish more reliable measures of patent value.
In his latest empirical work he has shown that long-held views on patent value and citations do not hold and introduced a new model of innovation to account for the findings. He has also done substantial work in criminal justice, including investigating whether longer sentences deter crime, how defendant race impacts judicial decisions, to what extent attorney skill affects case outcomes, and how much individuals value freedom.
His interests also include law and health economics, labor economics, and corporate finance. His work has appeared in top peer-reviewed journals and law reviews, including the Stanford Law Review, University of Chicago Law Review, University of Pennsylvania Law Review, American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, and Journal of Legal Studies.