David Abrams is a Professor of Law, Business Economics and Public Policy at the University of Pennsylvania Law School and the Wharton School. He is also a Senior Fellow at the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics.
One of the leading young economists working in empirical law and economics, Abrams’ work covers a range of topics, tied together by goal of understanding and measuring how individuals respond to incentives in various legal contexts. Criminal justice is one of his major areas of expertise, where Abrams has investigated a variety of questions, including whether longer sentences deter crime, how defendant race impact judicial decisions, how much individuals value freedom, and to what extent attorney skill affects case outcomes.
Another area of his expertise is intellectual property. Abrams has investigated the expected impact of the America Invents Act, examined the effect of patent duration on innovation, and is using natural language processing to establish more reliable measures of patent value. He has additional interests in law and health economics, labor economics, and corporate finance.
His work has appeared in a number of 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.
- PhD, Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2006
- MS, Physics, Stanford, 2001
- AB, Physics, Harvard, 1998
Professor of Law, Business Economics and Public Policy
University of Pennsylvania Law School
David S. Abrams (2014), The Law and Economics of Stop-and-Frisk, Loyola Law Review, 46, 369.
David S. Abrams (2013), How Do We Decide How Long to Incarcerate?, in Empirical Legal Analysis: Assessing the Performance of Legal Institutions, New York, NY: Routledge.
David S. Abrams (2013), Putting the Trial Penalty on Trial, Duquesne Law Review, 51, 777.
David S. Abrams, Daniel L. Chen (2013), Poisoning the Next Apple: How the America Invents Act Harms Inventors, Stanford Law Review, 65, 517. (with P. Wagner).
David S. Abrams (2013), The Imprisoner’s Dilemma: A Cost-Benefit Approach to Incarceration, Iowa Law Review, 98, 905.
David S. Abrams, Daniel L. Chen (2013), A Market for Justice: A First Empirical Look at Third Party Litigation Funding, University of Pennsylvania Journal of Business Law, 15, 1075.
David S. Abrams (2012), Estimating the Deterrent Effect of Incarceration using Sentencing Enhancements, AEJ.: Applied Economics, 4, 32.
David S. Abrams, Marianne Bertrand, Sendhil Mullainathan (2012), Do Judges Vary in Their Treatment of Race?, Journal of Legal Studies, 41, 347.
David S. Abrams (2011), Is Pleading Really a Bargain?, Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, 8, 200.
David S. Abrams, Chris Rohlfs (2011), Optimal Bail and the Value of Freedom: Evidence from the Philadelphia Bail Experiment, Economic Inquiry, 49, 750-770.