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Abby K. Wood

Abby K. Wood

Associate Professor of Law, Political Science and Public Policy

Last Updated: Thursday, June 22, 2017

Telephone: (213) 740-8012
Fax: (213) 740-5502
699 Exposition Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90089-0074 USA Room: 434
Personal Website: Link
SSRN Author Page: Link

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Abby Wood joined USC Gould School of Law in spring 2014 as assistant professor of law, political science, and public policy. Her research is at the intersection of law and politics, with current papers on government transparency, anti-corruption initiatives, and campaign finance. Most of her research uses large datasets and sophisticated quantitative analysis to show causal effects of institutional changes on human behavior. Wood teaches administrative law, campaign finance, and analytical methods for lawyers. She has taught on a variety of subjects, including international human rights law, constitutional law, quantitative methods for political science, and comparative politics.

Before joining USC Gould, Wood clerked for the Honorable John T. Noonan, judge of the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. She also has consulted on good governance projects in association with USAID, World Bank, National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, and UNDP.

Wood graduated summa cum laude from Austin College and earned her JD from Harvard Law School, where she was a senior editor of the Harvard International Law Journal. Concurrent with her law degree, Wood completed a MA in Law and Diplomacy, with a specific focus in development economics, at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, at Tufts University. In 2012, Wood earned a PhD in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley.

Works in Progress

  • "Optimizing Campaign Finance Disclosure." Under review at Annual Review of Law and Social Science.
  • “Transparency, Trust and Campaign Finance Disclosure.”
  • “Campaign Finance Transparency Affects Legislative Candidate Performance at the Polls” (with Christian Grose).
  • “Bureaucratic Agency Problems and Legislative Oversight” (with Sean Gailmard and Janna Rezaee).

Articles and Book Chapters

  • “Agency Performance Challenges and Agency Politicization” (with David E. Lewis). Journal of Public Administration, Research, and Theory (forthcoming).
  • "Twombly and Iqbal at the State Level" (with Roger M. Michalski). Journal of Empirical Legal Studies 14, no. 2 (2017): 424. - (SSRN) - (www)
  • “In the Shadows of Sunlight: The Effects of Transparency on State Political Campaigns” (with Douglas M. Spencer). Election Law Journal 15, no. 4 (2016): 302. - (SSRN) - (www)
  • "Caught in the Act but not Punished: On Elite Rule of Law and Deterrence" (with Francesca R. Jensenius). Penn State Journal of International Law & Policy 4, no. 2 (2016): 686 (peer reviewed). - (SSRN) - (Hein)
  • “Citizens United, States Divided: An Empirical Analysis of Independent Political Spending”, with Douglas Spencer. 89 Indiana Law Journal 315 (2014). - (SSRN) - (Hein) - (www)
  • “Charm and Punishment: How the Philippines’ Leading Man Became Its Most Famous Prisoner.” In Prosecuting Heads of State, edited by Ellen Lutz and Caitlin Reiger. Cambridge University Press, 2009. - (www)


March 13, 2018
Re: Orin Kerr

Orin Kerr was quoted about the need for legal restraint when deciding cases involving cyberspace. "Criminal law is a blunt instrument that should be used only as a last resort," said Kerr. "The state's power to deny individuals their freedom is an extraordinary power, and it should be reserved for harms that other mechanisms cannot remedy."


Robert K. Rasmussen
January, 2018

"Puerto Rico and the Netherworld of Sovereign Debt Restructuring," Workshop, Duke Law School, Durham, NC. 

Pauline Aranas
January, 2018

Pauline Aranas participated on a panel on "Effective Assessment:  Measuring Your Law Library's Impact" at the Association of American Law School's Annual Meeting in San Diego, CA.

Pauline Aranas
January, 2018

Pauline Aranas concluded her year-year term on the Executive Committee of the Association of American Law School's Section on Law Libraries and Legal Information.