Research & Publications

Replication materials and online appendices are linked with publications below. I'm still finalizing materials for forthcoming pieces. If you're looking for data/code not listed (typically older work), I am happy to share anything that's not built on proprietary data. Just email me at awood@law.usc.edu. Thanks.


Publications (see citations on my Google Scholar page)

Abby K. Wood, Christopher Elmendorf, Douglas M. Spencer, and Nicolas Napolio, “Mind the (Participation) Gap: Vouchers, Voting, and Visibility”, American Politics Research (forthcoming, 2022)

Wood, Abby K., "Show Me the Money: "Dark Money" and the Informational Benefit of Campaign Finance Disclosure". Forthcoming (2022), Political Behavior.

Aneja, Abhay, Jacob M. Grumbach, and Abby K. Wood. Forthcoming, 2022. "Financial Inclusion in Politics". NYU Law Review.

Feinstein, Brian, and Abby K. Wood. Forthcoming, 2022. "Divided Agencies". S. Cal. L. Rev. (lead article).

Wood, Abby and Christian Grose. 2021. Campaign Finance Transparency Affects Legislators' Election Outcomes and Behavior, American Journal of Political Science, https://doi.org/10.1111/ajps.12676 Replication files here.

Clouser McCann, Pamela J, Douglas M. Spencer, and Abby K. Wood. Forthcoming, 2021. "Measuring State Capture." Wisc. L. Rev.; online appendix (data and code coming soon)

Abby K. Wood. 2021. “Learning from Campaign Finance Information.” Emory Law Journal 70(5): 1091-1142.

Abby K. Wood. 2020. “Facilitating Accountability for Online Political Advertisements.” Ohio State Technology Law Journal 16(2): 520-557.

Grose, Christian and Abby Wood. 2019. "Randomized experiments by government institutions and American political development." Public Choice 185, 401-413.

Stein, Robert, et al. 2019. "Waiting to Vote in the 2016 Presidential Election: Evidence from a Multi-jurisdiction Study.Political Research Quarterly, 73(2):439-453.

Stein, Robert, et al. 2019. “Polling Place Quality and Access” in The Future of Election Administration (Kathleen Hale and Bridgett A. King, eds., Palgrave, 2019).

Abby K. Wood. 2018. “Campaign Finance Disclosure”. Annual Review of Law & Social Science 14(1): 11-27.

Abby K. Wood, Ann M. Ravel, Irina Dykhne. 2018. “Fool Me Once: Government Regulation of “Fake News” and other Online Political Advertising.” 91 Southern California Law Review 1223-1278.

Christopher S. Elmendorf & Abby K. Wood. 2018. "Elite Political Ignorance: Law, Data, and the Representation of (Mis)Perceived Electorates." 52 U.C. Davis Law Review 571-636 (lead article).

Mann, Christopher B., et al. 2018. "Pedagogical Value of Polling Place Observation By Students." PS: Political Science & Politics (Oct) 831-837.

Wood, Abby K. and David E. Lewis. 2017. “Agency Performance Challenges and Agency PoliticizationJournal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 27(4): 581–595. Supplemental appendix; data; code; codebook.

Michalski, Roger M. and Abby Wood. 2017. “Twombly and Iqbal at the State Level” (with Roger M. Michalski) Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, 14(2): 424-469.

Wood, Abby K. and Douglas M. Spencer. 2016. “In The Shadows of Sunlight: An Empirical Study of Campaign Finance Transparency” Election Law Journal 15(4): 302-329.

Jensenius, Francesca and Abby Wood. 2016. “Caught in the Act but not Punished: Why the Rule of Law is Key to Effective DeterrencePenn State Journal of Law & International Affairs. 686(4).

Spencer, Douglas M. and Abby K. Wood. 2014. “Citizens United, States Divided: Evidence of Elasticity in Independent Expenditures” Indiana Law Journal 89(1):315-372.

"Charm and Punishment: How the Philippines' leading man became its most famous prisoner", in Prosecuting Heads of State (Ellen Lutz and Caitlin Reiger, eds., Cambridge University, 2009)


Works In Progress

Decentralized Legislative Oversight of Bureaucratic Policy Making (with Janna Rezaee and Sean Gailmard) (revise and resubmit)

Congressional oversight is a potentially potent tool to affect policy making and implementation by executive agencies. However, oversight of any agency is dispersed among several committees across the House and Senate. How does this decentralization affect the strategic incentives for oversight by each committee? And how do the strate- gic incentives of oversight committees align with the collective interest of Congress as a whole? We develop a formal, spatial model of decentralized oversight to investigate these questions. The model shows that when committees have similar interests in af- fecting agency policy, committees attempt to free ride on each other and oversight levels are inefficiently low. But if committees have competing interests in affecting agency policy, they engage in “dueling oversight” with little overall effect, and oversight levels are inefficiently high. Overall, we contend that committee oversight incentives do not generally align with the collective interests of Congress, and the problem cannot be easily solved by structural changes within a single chamber.


To See or Not To See? Campaign Finance Disclosure and Voter Competence

The Supreme Court has shifted again, this time replacing a justice (Scalia) who embraced campaign finance disclosure with one (Gorsuch) who is skeptical of its benefits. The jurisprudence around campaign finance disclosure assumes that the disclosures help to inform voters about underlying policies being supported, but the area is under-studied and existing studies are problematic. One key way they are problematic is in seeking population effects, when a sizable minority of the population will not access any political information, including campaign finance information. Here, I present findings from a survey experiment that suggest that (1) campaign finance information will not be sought by those who are politically disengaged, politically ignorant, or ignorant of the specific policies at issue, and (2) controlling for those people improves our ability to detect an increase in voter competence from pushing campaign finance information to voters.