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Abby K. Wood
USC Gould School of Law

Abby K. Wood

Professor of Law, Political Science and Public Policy

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

Download Curriculum Vitae

Last Updated: July 6, 2021




Abby Wood’s research is at the intersection of law and politics. Wood uses uses quantitative analysis to examine the causal effects of institutional changes on human behavior. Her current projects analyze what voters learn from campaign finance disclosures, whether transparency can affect donor decision-making, and patterns in congressional oversight of agency activity. Recent projects examine the Freedom of Information Act and agency politicization, regulating false political speech on social media and the effects of Citizens United v. FEC on political donors.

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. In addition to teaching at USC, Wood has taught at the University of Chicago Law School.

Wood currently serves as a Commissioner on the California Fair Political Practices Commission, as well as on the Commission's Digital Transparency Task Force. From 2015 to 2017, she served on the Federal Bipartisan Campaign Finance Task Force. 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 holds a BA from Austin College, a JD from Harvard Law School, an MA in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, and a PhD in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley.

Works in Progress

  • “Mind the (Participation) Gap: Vouchers, Voting, and Visibility” (with Christopher Elmendorf and Douglas Spencer). - (SSRN)
  • "Show Me the Money: 'Dark Money' and the Informational Benefit of Campaign Finance Disclosure" - (SSRN)
  • “Bureaucratic Agency Problems and Legislative Oversight” (with Sean Gailmard and Janna Rezaee).

Articles and Book Chapters

  • “Financial Inclusion in Politics” (with Abhay Aneja and Jake Grumbach), (forthcoming, NYU Law Review)
  • “Campaign Finance Transparency Affects Legislative Candidate Performance at the Polls” (with Christian Grose).” (forthcoming, American Journal of Political Science).   - (SSRN)
  • “Learning from Campaign Finance Disclosures.” Emory Law Journal (forthcoming, 2021). - (SSRN)
  • “Facilitating Accountability for Online Political Advertisements.” Ohio State Technology Law Journal (forthcoming, 2020).  
  • "Randomized experiments by government institutions and American political development," (with C.R. Grose). Public Choice (2019)  - (www)
  • “Polling Place Practices” in The Future of Election Administration: Cases and Conversations (Mitchell Brown, Kathleen Hale and Bridgett A. King, eds.) (Palgrave, 2019). - (www)
  • "Waiting to Vote in the 2016 Presidential Election: Evidence from a Multi-county Study," (with Robert M. Stein and others), Political Research Quarterly (2019) - (www)
  • "Elite Political Ignorance: Law, Data, and the Representation of (Mis)Perceived Electorates" (with Christopher S. Elmendorf). UC Davis Law Review 52 (2018): 571.  - (SSRN) - (Hein)
  • "Pedagogical Value of Polling-Place Observation By Students" (with Christopher B. Mann, et al.). PS: Political Science & Politics 51 (2018): 831 - (www)
  • "Campaign Finance Disclosure." Annual Review of Law and Social Science 14 (2018): 11. - (www)
  • "Fool Me Once: Regulating 'Fake News' and other Online Advertising" (with Ann M. Ravel). Southern California Law Review  91 (2018): 1223. - (SSRN) - (Hein) - (www)
  • “Agency Performance Challenges and Agency Politicization” (with David E. Lewis). Journal of Public Administration, Research, and Theory 27 (2017): 581 . - (www) - (SSRN)
  • "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. Indiana Law Journal 89 (2014): 315. - (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)

FACULTY IN THE NEWS

The Washington Post
July 28, 2021
Re: Clare Pastore

Clare Pastore was interviewed about the Activision Blizzard lawsuit. “The DFEH would want to take on cases to set precedents, against particularly bad actors, if there are lot of complaints about the same employer, or to send a wake up call to the industry," she said.

RECENT SCHOLARSHIP

Gregory Keating
May, 2021

“Form and Substance in the 'Private Law' of Torts,” 14 Journal of Tort Law 45 (2021).

Robin Craig
May, 2021

Robin Craig accepted the invitation of the Environmental Law Institute (Washington. D.C.) to participate in its new project on Communicating the Science of Sea Level Rise. The project will involve a webinar and a conference in late 2021, with Craig slated to speak on property, water law, and constitutional issues arising from adaptation to sea level rise.

Robin Craig
May, 2021

Robin Craig accepted an invitation to join the Advisory Board of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee's Center for Water Policy.