research

Publications · Working Papers · Works in Progress



Publications

Sustaining Capitalism and Democracy: Lessons from Global Competition Policy. Forthcoming in International Studies Review. (with Kenneth Scheve) [Replication Materials]

Overview
From the earliest antitrust policy debates, concerns that robust competition policies aimed at limiting economic concentration would disadvantage domestic producers featured prominently. This dynamic creates an international cooperation problem over competition policy that has intensified with the dramatic increases in globalization over the last several decades. We argue that major democratic powers have played a critical role in overcoming this cooperation problem and shaping the limited cooperation that has been achieved. We demonstrate this through both a cross-national event history analysis as well as case studies of two international waves of antitrust legislation after World War II and the Cold War.




Working Papers

Is International Commercial Arbitration a Complement or Substitute for Domestic Legal Institutions?

Overview
In this paper I argue that the growth of ICA has eroded the link between domestic rule of law and foreign direct investment by offering an extra-judicial, delocalized system of dispute resolution. Using a dataset tracking implementation of the UN Commission on International Trade Law’s 1985 Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration, I find that while direct investors are attracted to states with stronger rule of law institutions, this association is negated by the enactment of arbitration-friendly laws. I find that ICA thus serves as a substitute for local courts.

· · · · ·

Democracy, Inequality, and Antitrust (Revise & resubmit)
(with Kenneth Scheve and David Stasavage)

Overview
This paper investigates the relationship between democracy, inequality, and antitrust policy. Strong antitrust policies advance the economic and political interests of a majority of citizens and their adoption may be more likely in institutional settings that weigh more heavily the interest of voters. Rising inequality may, on the one hand, increase voter demands for strict antitrust policies, or, on the other hand indicate greater interest and resources aimed at blocking such reforms. We find that democracy is predictive of stricter antitrust policies only in countries with low levels of inequality. This result is consistent with the idea that economic inequality can undermine the democratic forces that tend toward stronger antitrust policy. We then investigate an important supposed exception to this pattern: the case of progressive era US reforms.

· · · · ·

Unbundling the State: Legal Development in an Era of Global, Private Governance (Under review)

Overview
What happens to a public, domestic institution when its authority is delegated to a privately-run, transnational institution? In this paper, I argue that international commercial arbitration—a private, transnational system of cross-border commercial dispute resolution—provides key interest groups that would otherwise lobby for rule of law reforms an exit option from weak local institutions which in turn reduces pressure on the state to invest in needed rule of law reforms. I test this proposition using semiparametric analysis, finding that the enactment of strong domestic protections for ICA leads to the gradual erosion of the quality of local legal institutions. The effect is most pronounced in weak rule-of-law states.

· · · · ·

Transnational Legal Spillover? A Reappraisal of the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention (Under review)
(with Elizabeth Acorn)

Overview
Can prosecutions by US authorities help spread enforcement of anti-foreign bribery laws to other countries? In this article, we explore this question by re-examining an earlier study that found that US prosecutions of foreign defendants under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act increases the likelihood that the defendant’s home state will enforces its own anti-foreign bribery laws. Using our updated and improved dataset, we find that the relationship reported in earlier scholarship does not hold. Instead, our research indicates that the exposure of states to risks of foreign bribery is an important and overlooked predictor of the likelihood of enforcement. We outline promising avenues for future research on transnational law enforcement relating to bribery in international business and in other areas.

· · · · ·

The Corruption Penalty: Global Commerce, Bribery and the Growing Fear of Getting Caught

Overview
I argue that the growth of enforcement of the United States Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), which criminalizes bribery of foreign officials in exchange for a business advantage, has increased the sensitivity of foreign investors to the risks of investing in corrupt regimes. I find that FCPA enforcement has a negative effect on the intensive margin of US FDI (which I measure as aggregate employment in US-owned foreign affiliates) but little to no effect on the extensive margin (the number of US-owned foreign affiliates). (Available upon request)




Works in Progress

  • Sources of Gender and National Bias in the Selection of Arbitrators at the International Chamber of Commerce

    Overview
    I have collected nationality data on the universe of arbitrators appointed to serve on all arbitration panels registered with the International Chamber of Commerce from 2016 to the present. I am now in the process of improving and expanding this dataset and collecting detailed demographic, educational, and professional data to examine trends in the evolution of the international arbitration profession.

  • Populism and the Termination of Bilateral Investment Treaties
    (with Jimena Valdez)

    Overview

  • Crisis, Intervention and the Politics of Central Bank Independence
    (with Aditi Sahasrabuddhe) [Preregistration Materials]

    Overview
    We are in the process of deploying a nationally representative survey in the United States to examine the political determinants of attitudes towards central bank independence, focusing on the effects of the Fed’s expansion of foreign lending operations since the 2008 financial crisis. This research is supported by the Institute for Humane Studies at George Mason University.