About USC Gould
USC Gould is a top-ranked law school with a 120-year history and reputation for academic excellence. We are located on the beautiful 228-acre USC University Park Campus, just south of downtown Los Angeles.
Learn about our interdisciplinary curriculum, experiential learning opportunities and specialized areas.
USC Gould helps prepare you for a stellar legal career. You can pursue a JD degree, one of our numerous graduate and international offerings, or an online degree or certificate.
Participate in an unparalleled learning experience with diversity of people and thought. Get involved in the law school community and participate in activities that enhance your studies.
We work closely with students, graduates and employers to support successful career goals and outcomes. Our overall placement rate is consistently strong, with 94 percent of our JD class employed within 10 months after graduation.
Our faculty is distinguished for its scholarship, as well as for its commitment to teaching. Our 12:1 student-to-faculty ratio creates an intimate and collegial learning environment.
- Alumni and Giving
USC Gould School of Law
- FACULTY DIRECTORY
- LECTURERS IN LAW DIRECTORY
- EXPERTS DIRECTORY
- FACULTY IN THE NEWS
- SCHOLARSHIP AND PUBLICATIONS
- DISTINCTIONS AND AWARDS
- + CENTERS AND INITIATIVES
- CENTER FOR DISPUTE RESOLUTION
- CENTER FOR LAW AND PHILOSOPHY (CLP)
- CENTER FOR LAW AND SOCIAL SCIENCE (CLASS)
- CENTER FOR LAW, HISTORY AND CULTURE (CLHC)
- CENTER FOR TRANSNATIONAL LAW AND BUSINESS (CTLB)
- INITIATIVE AND REFERENDUM INSTITUTE (IRI)
- PACIFIC CENTER FOR HEALTH POLICY AND ETHICS
- SAKS INSTITUTE FOR MENTAL HEALTH LAW, POLICY, AND ETHICS
- + WORKSHOPS AND CONFERENCES
John Matsusaka is an expert on initiatives and referendums, politics, budgeting, mergers and acquisitions, and corporate diversification. He is the Executive Director of the Initiative and Referendum Institute at USC, which studies and tracks ballot measures and propositions throughout the country.
Matsusaka has been a National Fellow at the Hoover Institution at
Matsusaka’s publications include “For the Many or the Few: The Initiative, Public Policy, and American Democracy” (University of Chicago Press, 2004) and "Direct Democracy Works," (Journal of Economic Perspectives, 2005).
Works in Progress
- "Managerial Accommodation, Proxy Access, and the Cost of Shareholder Empowerment" (with Oguzhan Ozbas, 2013).
- "Direct Democracy," in Elgar Companion to Public Choice (2d ed.) (forthcoming).
- "Disentangling the Direct and Indirect Effects of the Initiative Process." - (PDF)
- "Direct Democracy and Social Issues." - (www)
- For the Many or the Few: The Initiative, Public Policy, and American Democracy, University of Chicago Press, 2004. (Reviewed in Journal of Politics, Perspectives on Politics, and Public Opinion Quarterly.)
Articles and Book Chapters
- “Ballot Order Effects in Direct Democracy Elections.” 167 Public Choice 257 (2016).
- 2012 Ballot Propositions.” In The Book of the States 2013. Lexington, KY: The Council of State Governments, 2013.
- "Disobedience and Authority," with Anthony M. Marino and Jan Zabojnik, 26.3 Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization 427 (December 2010). - (www)
- "When Are Outside Directors Effective?," with Ran Duchin and Oguzhan Ozbas, 92.2 Journal of Financial Economics 195 (May 2010). - (www)
- "50+ Years of Diversification Announcements," with Mehmet E. Akbulut, 45.2 Financial Review 231 (May 2010). - (www)
- "Popular Control of Public Policy: A Quantitative Approach," 5.2 Quarterly Journal of Political Science 133 (2010). - (PDF)
- "Aggressive Enforcement of the Single Subject Rule," in 9.4 Election Law Journal 399 (with Richard Hasen) (2010). - (PDF)
- "From Families to Formal Contract: An Approach to Development," 90.1 Journal of Development Economics 106 (with Krishna B. Kumar) (2009). - (PDF)
- "Direct Democracy and Public Employees,” 99.5 American Economic Review 2227 (2009). - (www)
- "Direct Democracy and the Executive Branch," in Direct Democracy's Impact on American Political Institutions (with Shaun Bowler, Amihai Glazer, Palgrave Macmillian, eds.) (2008).
- "M&A in the U.S.A.: Lessons from the Last 100 Years," in Institutional and Policy Reforms to Enhance Corporate Efficiency in Korea (with Lee-Jay Cho, Somi Seong, Sang-Hyop Lee, eds.) (Korea Development Institute, 2007).
- "Public Choice Principles of Redistricting," 129 Public Choice 381 (with Thomas W. Gilligan) (2006). - (www)
- "The Endogeneity of the Initiative: A Comment on Marschall and Ruhil," 5.4 State Politics and Policy Quarterly 356 (Winter 2005).
- “Direct Democracy and Fiscal Gridlock: Have Voter Initiatives Paralyzed the California Budget?,” 5.3 State Politics and Policy Quarterly 248 (Fall 2005). - (www)
- "The Eclipse of Legislatures: Direct Democracy in the 21st Century," 124 Public Choice 157 (July 2005). - (www)
- “Direct Democracy Works,” 19.2 Journal of Economic Perspectives 185 (Spring 2005). - (www)
- “Decision Processes, Agency Problems, and Information: An Economic Analysis of Capital Budgeting Procedures,” with Anthony M. Marino, 18.1 Review of Financial Studies 301 (Spring 2005). - (www)
- "Subversion of the Many by the Few: Some Scientific Evidence on the Initiative Process," 13.2 Journal of Contemporary Legal Issues 511 (2004). - (Hein)
- “Direct Democracy: New Approaches to Old Questions,” 7 Annual Review of Political Science 463 (with Arthur Lupia) (2004). Selected Emerging Research Front paper by Thompson Scientific, April 2006, as "one of the most cited recent papers in Social Sciences." - (www)
- “Budget Referendums and Government Spending: Evidence from Swiss Cantons,” 87 Journal of Public Economics 2703 (with Lars P. Feld) (December 2003). - (www)
- “Corporate Diversification, Value Maximization, and Organizational Capabilities,” 74 Journal of Business 409 (July 2001). Awarded Merton Miller Prize for “most significant” paper in JB in 2001. Featured in MIT Sloan Management Review, Winter 2002. - (www)
- “Internal Capital Markets and Corporate Refocusing,” with Vikram Nanda, 11 Journal of Financial Intermediation 176 (April 2002).
- “Problems with a Methodology Used to Test the Responsiveness of Policy to Public Opinion in Initiative States,” 63 Journal of Politics 1250 (November 2001).
- “Political Resource Allocation: Benefits and Costs of Voter Initiatives,” 17 Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization 413 (with Nolan M. McCarty) (October 2001).
FACULTY IN THE NEWS
Professor Jody Armour was interviewed by the New York Times about the recent policy brutality incident that led to the death of Tyre Nichols. “It’s not just a Black and white issue, but a Black and blue one. And when you put on that blue uniform, it often becomes the primary identity that drowns out any other identities that might compete with it," Armour said.
"Climate Adaptation in the United States." Frontiers in Marine Science 9 (2022) December. Special Topic: Ocean Governance and Climate Adaptation: Comparing Responses, Charting Future Courses.
"Why Parents' Interests Matter." Ethics 133 (forthcoming 2023): 271.
"The China Innovation Challenge." Center for Strategic & International Studies interview, Washington, D.C.