David S. Abrams, PhD, MS


Assistant Professor, Law, Business, and Public Policy, Law School

David Abrams is an empirical economist whose work brings modern econometric techniques to bear on a variety of topics in law and economics. He currently serves as the Vice President of the Society for Empirical Legal Scholarship. His recent research has included investigations into incentives for innovation, attorney performance, 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. Other recent and current projects include investigations into physician incentives, medical resident work hours, diffusion of medical technologies, the impact of patent law priority rules on small inventors, and other approaches. He makes use of a variety of techniques in his work, including using randomized field experiments, laboratory experiments, and retrospective empirical analysis. Abrams joined Penn Law from the University of Chicago Law School, where he was Olin Fellow and received the 2007 Coase Prize for the outstanding paper in law and economics.

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