Published Papers

An Empirical Analysis of CFIUS: Examining Foreign Investment Regulation in the United States (2014), with Tian Huang, Yale J. of Int’l L. (available at

The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) examines foreign proposed transactions to garner control of American entities and advises on national security risks through a confidential review process. Previous scholarship on CFIUS has concentrated on specific events and legislative amendments to the process. This Note, through aggregating publicly available sources of information regarding CFIUS reviews, produces the first comprehensive empirical analysis of the process. Using event studies, we show that CFIUS actions have resulted in multi-billion dollar wealth transfers to American companies. Our regression analysis of publicly available data indicates that outcomes of CFIUS reviews are best explained by factors relating to national security concerns.

Working Papers

Better Court Structure, Better Judgments?: Exploring the Impact of Term Limits and Court Specialization with a Diagnostic Model of Judging in Securities Class Action Litigation (working paper)

Structural reform of the federal bench has been a major topic of legal discussion in recent years, though the stakes of the debate are usually cast in terms of political polarization or ethics considerations. In this paper, I consider the effect that two structural reforms – term limits and subject-matter specialization – would have on a less-discussed aspect of the matter: judicial skill. Using a variety of data related to securities class action lawsuits, I estimate judges’ skill in appropriately identifying and dismissing non-meritorious strike suits. Unlike previous research that generally accounts for only either judicial skill or judicial preferences, the paper’s approach is able to attribute variation in observed litigation outcomes to judicial heterogeneity along both dimensions – finding significant variation in both. Furthermore, I present evidence that judicial skill is positively impacted by relevant case experience and is negatively impacted by advanced judicial age. Finally, I model counterfactual scenarios that incorporate (i) term limits and (ii) increased subject-matter specialization to derive the optimal length of term limits and volume of specialized subject-matter caseload.

Estimating and Correcting for Measurement Error in Empirical Textual Research, with Jon Choi (working paper)

We present a framework for quantifying the impact of and correcting for measurement error in empirical research involving textual data. Measurement error commonly arises when, for example, large language models (LLMs) or human research assistants are tasked with classifying features in text. For statistics calculated with classification estimates, measurement error may introduce attenuation bias or, if there is an imbalance of false positives and false negatives, directional bias, or both. We present strategies for statistically quantifying measurement error and for correcting estimations based on mismeasured data. We demonstrate the effectiveness of these techniques with a Monte Carlo simulation as well as a worked example involving real data. The examples demonstrate the importance of correcting for measurement error, particularly when using LLMs with imbalances in their confusion matrix.

A ‘New View’ of America’s Original Sin: Induced Innovation and Slavery in the Antebellum United States (working paper)

This paper provides evidence that slavery directed technological progress in the antebellum South toward labor-augmenting innovations. Leveraging a natural language processing analysis of U.S. patents granted between the passing of the Patent Act of 1836 and the end of Reconstruction, this paper shows the institution of slavery had a significant impact in directing Southern technological innovation away from capital-intense production techniques. Contextualizing these results with Atkinson and Stiglitz’s “New View” framework for describing directed technological change, the paper then describes how outsized capital gains on “slave capital” might have played a pivotal role in altering the overall return to investment in labor-augmenting technologies in the South as compared to the North, thus setting the two regions on different trajectories of industrial development.


A Matt Levine Effect? (with William Fallon and Nick Foretek), a humorous essay on the difficulty of taking a good vacation, draft dated March 12, 2023

The Gift of the Banya: An Enlightening and Freeing Journey Through the Russian Bath, a review of Bryon MacWilliams’ memoir With Light Steam, New City (2015)

The Poetry of Boundaries, an essay on Vladimir Nabokov’s short stories, The Birch, a Columbia University journal for Eastern European and Eurasian Studies (2011)