Adam Chilton

Adam Chilton

Howard G. Krane Professor of Law, Walter Mander Research Scholar

Adam Chilton is a Professor of Law and the Walter Mander Research Scholar at the University of Chicago Law School. Adam's primary research interests lie at the intersection of international law, comparative law, and empirical legal studies. Adam currently serves as a co-editor of the Journal of Law and Economics.

Many of Adam’s research projects focus on how law can promote economic, social, and political development around the world. For instance, Adam’s recent book co-authored by Mila Versteeg, How Constitutional Rights Matter, won the Best Book Prize from the International Society of Public Law and from the Human Rights Section of the American Political Science Association. Adam also has ongoing projects focused on documenting the development and enforcement of competition law regimes around the world, studying how Bilateral Labor Agreements can be used to promote international labor migration, and researching how to improve the quality of life in informal urban communities.

In addition to these international and comparative projects, other topics Adam researches include reforming the United States Supreme Court, measuring the ideology of the American legal profession, studying the determinants of judicial decision making, and improving legal education and the legal academy.

Adam received a BA and MA in Political Science from Yale University. After college, Adam worked as a management consultant for BCG. He then went to Harvard University, where he earned a JD and a PhD in Political Science. Before joining the faculty, Adam taught at the Law School as a Bigelow Fellow and Lecturer in Law.

Education

Harvard University

JD, 2013
PhD in Political Science, 2013
MA in Political Science, 2012

Yale University

MA in Political Science, 2007
BA in Political Science, 2007

Experience

The University of Chicago Law School

Howard G. Krane Professor of Law, January 2024 – Present
Walter Mander Research Scholar, July 2017 – Present
Professor of Law, July 2019 – December 2023
Assistant Professor of Law, July 2014 – July 2019
Bigelow Fellow and Lecturer in Law, July 2013 – June 2014

O'Melveny & Myers, LLP

Summer Associate, Washington, DC, 2010 and 2012

Department of Justice – Civil Division

Summer Law Intern Program, 2011

Boston Consulting Group

Associate, 2007-2009

Books (Author)

  • Trial by Numbers: A Lawyer's Guide to Statistical Evidence (Oxford University Press, forthcoming)2024) (with Kyle Rozema).
  • How Constitutional Rights Matter (Oxford University Press, 2020) (with Mila Versteeg).www

Journal Articles

  • "Political Ideology and Judicial Administration: Evidence from the COVID-19 Pandemic," __ Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization __ (2025) (forthcoming) (with Christopher A. Cotropia, Kyle Rozema & David L. Schwartz). ssrn www
  • "The 'Odd Party Out' Theory of Certiorari," __ Journal of Politics __ (2024) (forthcoming) (with Adam Bonica & Maya Sen). ssrn
  • "Constraining Constitution-Making," 1 Journal of Law and Empirical Analysis 1 (2024) (with Cristián Eyzaguirre, David E. Landau & Mila Versteeg). ssrn www
  • "The Gravity of Legal Diffusion," 2023 University of Chicago Legal Forum 35 (2024) (with Anu Bradford & Katerina Linos). www
  • "Social rights scapegoating," __ Global Constitutionalism __ (2024) (forthcoming) (with Cristián Eyzaguirre & Mila Versteeg). www
  • "Support for Constitutional Rights During Crisis: Evidence from the Pandemic," __ American Journal of Comparative Law __ (2024) (forthcoming) (with Kevin Cope, Charles Crabtree & Mila Versteeg). ssrn
  • "Improving the Signal Quality of Grades," __ Journal of Law, Economics and Organization __ (2024) (forthcoming) (with Peter Joy, Kyle Rozema & James Thomas). ssrn www
  • "Beyond Constitutional Rights," 28 Jerusalem Review of Legal Studies 40 (2023) (with Mila Versteeg). www
  • "Legal Origins and Human Rights Law," 3 Rutgers International Law and Human Rights Journal 26 (2023) (with Mila Versteeg). www
  • "Introduction: A Second Wave of Comparative Constitutional Studies," 51 Journal of Legal Studies 321 (2022) (with Mila Versteeg). www
  • "The Expanding Universe of Bilateral Labor Agreements," 23 Theoretical Inquiries in Law 1 (2022) (with Bartek Woda). www
  • "The Effect of Constitutional Gender Equality Clauses," 51 Journal of Legal Studies 329 (2022) (with Mila Versteeg). ssrn www
  • "Designing Supreme Court Term Limits," 95 Southern California Law Review 1 (2022) (with Daniel Epps, Maya Sen & Kyle Rozema). ssrn www
  • "Assessing Affirmative Action's Diversity Rationale," 122 Columbia Law Review 331 (2022) (with Justin Driver, Jonathan S. Masur & Kyle Rozema). www
  • "Small-c Constitutional Rights," 20 International Journal of Constitutional Law 141 (2022) (with Mila Versteeg). ssrn www
  • "Measurement and Causal Identification in Constitutional Law: A Reply to Niels Petersen and Konstantin Chatziathanasiou," 19 International Journal of Constitutional Law 1842 (2021) (with Mila Versteeg). www
  • "Preferences and Compliance with International Law," 22 Theoretical Inquiries in Law 247 (2021) (with Katerina Linos). ssrn www
  • "The Social Science Approach to International Law," 22 Chicago Journal of International Law 1 (2021) (with Daniel Abebe & Tom Ginsburg). ssrn www
  • "Do Legal Origins Predict Legal Substance?," 64 Journal of Law and Economics 207 (2021) (with Anu Bradford, Yun-chien Chang & Nuno Garoupa). ssrn www
  • "Regulating Antitrust through Trade Agreements," 84 Antitrust Law Journal 103 (2021) (with Anu Bradford).
  • "Rethinking Law School Tenure Standards," 50 Journal of Legal Studies 1 (2021) (with Jonathan S. Masur & Kyle Rozema). ssrn www
  • "United Nations Endorsement and Support for Human Rights: An Experiment on Women’s Rights in Pakistan," 58 Journal of Peace Research 462 (2021) (with Gulnaz Anjum & Zahid Usman). ssrn www
  • "The Chicago School's Limited Influence on International Antitrust," 87 University of Chicago Law Review 297 (2020) (with Anu Bradford & Filippo Lancieri). ssrn www
  • "Political Ideology and the Law Review Selection Process," 22 American Law and Economics Review 211 (2020) (with Jonathan S. Masur & Kyle Rozema). ssrn www
  • "Reciprocity and Public Opposition to Foreign Direct Investment," 50 British Journal of Political Science 129 (2020) (with Helen V. Milner & Dustin Tingley). www
  • "The Global Dominance of European Competition Law Over American Antitrust Law," 16 Journal of Empirical Legal Studies 731 (2019) (with Anu Bradford, Katerina Linos & Alex Weaver). ssrn www
  • "Competition Gone Global: The Comparative Competition Law and Enforcement Datasets," 16 Journal of Empirical Legal Studies 411 (2019) (with Anu Bradford, Christopher Megaw & Nathaniel Sokol). ssrn www
  • "Legal Rasputins? Law Clerk Influence on Voting at the U.S. Supreme Court," 35 Journal of Law, Economics and Organization 1 (2019) (with Adam Bonica, Kyle Rozema, Jacob Goldin & Maya Sen). cu www
  • "Trade Openness and Antitrust Law," 62 Journal of Law and Economics 29 (2019) (with Anu Bradford). ssrn www
  • "What Should Law School Rankings Measure and How Should We Measure It: A Comment on Heald and Sichelman’s Rankings," 60 Jurimetrics: The Journal of Law, Science & Technology 61 (2019) (with Jonathan S. Masur). ssrn www
  • "Treaties and Human Rights: The Role of Long-Term Trends," 81 Law & Contemporary Problems 1 (2018) (with Eric A. Posner). ssrn cu www
  • "Competition Law Around the World from 1889 to 2010: The Competition Law Index," 14 Journal of Competition Law and Economics 393 (2018) (with Anu Bradford). ssrn cu www
  • "Country Specific Investments and the Rights of Non-Citizens," 57 Virginia Journal of International Law 575 (2018) (with Eric A. Posner). ssrn cu www
  • "Optimal Design of Guest Worker Programs: An Introduction," 47 Journal of Legal Studies 1 (2018) (with Tom Ginsburg & Eric A. Posner). cu www
  • "Why Countries Sign Bilateral Labor Agreements," 47 Journal of Legal Studies 45 (2018) (with Eric A. Posner). ssrn cu www
  • "Courts’ Limited Ability to Protect Constitutional Rights," 85 University of Chicago Law Review 293 (2018) (with Mila Versteeg). ssrn cu
  • "The Legal Academy's Ideological Uniformity," 47 Journal of Legal Studies 1 (2018) (with Adam Bonica & Kyle Rozema & Maya Sen). ssrn cu www
  • "Rights Without Resources: The Impact of Constitutional Social Rights on Social Spending," 60 Journal of Law and Economics 713 (2017) (with Mila Versteeg). ssrn cu www
  • "Book Review of The Continent of International Law: Explaining Agreement Design by Barbara Koremenos," 111 American Journal of International Law 801 (2017). cu www
  • "Experimentally Testing the Effectiveness of Human Rights Treaties," 18 Chicago Journal of International Law 164 (2017). ssrn cu
  • "Measuring Judicial Ideology Using Law Clerk Hiring," 19 American Law and Economics Review 129 (2017) (with Adam Bonica, Kyle Rozema, Jacob Goldin & Maya Sen). ssrn cu www
  • "The Political Ideologies of Law Clerks," 19 American Law and Economics Review 96 (2017) (with Adam Bonica, Jacob Goldin, Kyle Rozema & Maya Sen). ssrn cu www
  • "Has Trump's Promised Assault on International Law Materialized?," 2017 University of Illinois Law Review Online: Trump 100 Days (online) (2017). cu www
  • "The Influence of History on States’ Compliance with Human Rights Obligations," 56 Virginia Journal of International Law 212 (2017) (with Eric A. Posner). ssrn cu
  • "Making Doctrinal Work More Rigorous: Lessons from Systematic Reviews," 84 University of Chicago Law Review 37 (2017) (with William Baude & Anup Malani). ssrn cu
  • "A Call for Developing a Field of Positive Legal Methodology," 84 University of Chicago Law Review 1 (2017) (with William Baude & Anup Malani). cu
  • "The Limitations of Supply Chain Disclosure Regimes," 53 Stanford Journal of International Law 1 (2017) (with Galit Sarfaty). ssrn cu
  • "Simplification of Privacy Disclosures: An Experimental Test," 45 Journal of Legal Studies S41 (2016) (with Omri Ben-Shahar). ssrn cu
  • "The Political Ideologies of American Lawyers," 8 Journal of Legal Analysis 277 (2016) (with Adam Bonica & Maya Sen). ssrn cu www
  • "Did the Creation of the United Nations Human Rights Council Produce a Better ‘Jury’?," 58 Harvard International Law Journal Online 7 (2016) (with Robert Golan-Vilella). ssrn cu www
  • "Do Constitutional Rights Make a Difference?," 60 American Journal of Political Science 575 (2016) (with Mila Versteeg). ssrn cu www
  • "Revisiting Procedure and Precedent in the WTO: An Analysis of US-Countervailing and Anti-Dumping Measure (China)," 15 World Trade Review 375 (2016) (with Mostafa Beshkar). ssrn cu
  • "International Law, Constitutional Law, and Public Support for Torture," 3 Research & Politics 1 (2016) (with Mila Versteeg). ssrn cu www
  • "The Motivations of the United States' Bilateral Investment Treaty Program," 23 Review of International Political Economy 614 (2016). ssrn cu www
  • "Challenging the Randomness of Panel Assignments in the Federal Courts of Appeals," 101 Cornell Law Review 1 (2015) (with Marin Levy). ssrn cu
  • "The Failure of Constitutional Torture Prohibitions," 44 Journal of Legal Studies 417 (2015) (with Mila Versteeg). ssrn cu
  • "An Empirical Study of Political Bias in Legal Scholarship," 44 Journal of Legal Studies 277 (2015) (with Eric A. Posner). ssrn cu
  • "Reconsidering the Motivations of the United States' Bilateral Investment Treaty Program," 108 American Society of International Law Proceedings 373 (2015). ssrn cu
  • "The Laws of War and Public Opinion: An Experimental Study," 171 Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics 181 (2015). ssrn cu
  • "Foreign Sovereign Immunity and Comparative Institutional Competence," 163 University of Pennsylvania Law Review 411 (2015) (with Christopher A. Whytock). ssrn cu
  • "The Political Economy of Inward FDI: Opposition to Chinese Mergers & Acquisitions," 8 Chinese Journal of International Politics 27 (2015) (with Dustin Tingley, Christopher Xu & Helen V. Milner). ssrn cu
  • "Supplying Compliance: Why and When the US Complies with WTO Rulings," 39 Yale Journal of International Law 201 (2014) (with Rachel Brewster) (Data). ssrn cu
  • "The Influence of International Human Rights Agreements on Public Opinion: An Experimental Study," 15 Chicago Journal of International Law 110 (2014). ssrn cu
  • "Why the Study of International Law Needs Experiments," 52 Columbia Journal of Transnational Law 173 (2013) (with Dustin Tingley). ssrn cu
  • "A Reply to Dworkin's New Theory of International Law," 80 The University of Chicago Law Review Dialogue 105 (2013). ssrn cu
  • "Book Review (reviewing Charles R. Beitz, The Idea of Human Rights)," 25 Harvard Human Rights Journal 237 (2012). cu
  • "The Earned Income Tax Credit, Low-Income Workers, and the Legal Aid Community," 3 Columbia Journal of Tax Law 176 (2012) (with Jonathan P. Schneller & Joshua L. Boehm). ssrn cu
  • "Recent Developments in Health Law: Brazil's Pregnancy Registration Requirement and International Commitments to the Rights of Women," 40 Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 696 (2012). cu
  • "Equality, Procedural Justice, and the World Trade Organization," 7 Intercultural Human Rights Law Review 277 (2012) (with Ryan W. Davis). ssrn cu
  • "The Doctrinal Paradox & International Law," 34 University of Pennsylvania Journal of International Law 67 (2012) (with Dustin Tingley). ssrn cu
  • "Book Review (reviewing Beth A. Simmons, Mobilizing for Human Rights: International Law in Domestic Politics)," 24 Harvard Human Rights Journal 243 (2011). cu
  • "India's Evolving Patent Laws and the WTO Obligations: The Rejection of Abbott Laboratories' Application for a New Kaletra Patent," 39 Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 296 (2011). cu

Book Sections

  • "The Politics of Constitutional Rights," in Research Handbook on the Politics of Constitutional Law, Mark V. Tushnet & Dimitry Kochenov eds. (Edward Elgar, 2023) (with Mila Versteeg). www

Working Papers

  • "LegalBench: A Collaboratively Built Benchmark for Measuring Legal Reasoning in Large Language Models," arXiv(2023). www
  • "Political Ideology and Judicial Administration: Evidence from the COVID-19 Pandemic," Northwestern Public Law Research Paper, No. No. 22-20 (2022) (with Christopher A. Cotropia, Kyle Rozema & David L. Schwartz). ssrn
  • "Identifying Constitutional Law," (2021) (with Mila Versteeg). ssrn
  • "The Effect of Constitutional Gender Equality Clauses," (2021) (with Mila Versteeg). ssrn
  • "Dynamic Diffusion," (2021) (with Anu Bradford & Katerina Linos). ssrn
  • "The Endgame of Court-Packing," (2021) (with Daniel Epps, Kyle Rozema & Maya Sen). ssrn
  • "The Effects of Bilateral Labor Agreements: Evidence from the Philippines," (2021) (with Bartosz Woda). ssrn
  • "Improving the Signal Quality of Grades," (2021) (with Peter Joy, Kyle Rozema & James Thomas). ssrn
  • "The Normative Force of Higher-Order Law: Evidence from Six Countries During the COVID-19 Pandemic," (2020) (with Kevin Cope, Charles Crabtree & Mila Versteeg). ssrn www

Other Publications

  • "Opinion: Does campus diversity justify affirmative action? Our study says yes.," The Washington Post, October 18, 2022 (with Justin Driver, Jonathan S. Masur & Kyle Rozema). www
  • "Empirical Constitutional Studies: Future Directions," University of Chicago Law Review Online, May 4, 2021 (with Mila Versteeg). www
  • "Biden’s Commission is Examining Supreme Court Term Limits. Those Could Have Unintended Consequences.," Washington Post, April 1, 2021 (with Daniel Epps, Kyle Rozema & Maya Sen). www
  • "Red and Blue America Agree That Now Is the Time to Violate the Constitution," The Atlantic, March 2020 (with Kevin Cope, Charles Crabtree & Mila Versteeg). www
  • "Academic Highlight: The 'Odd Party Out' Theory of Certiorari,"," SCOTUSblog, February 21, 2020 (with Adam Bonica & Maya Sen). www
  • "Land, Politics, and Insecurity in Slums: A Photo Essay," EPW Engage, January 23, 2020 (with Anup Malani & Shafali Sharma & Lakshmee Sharma). www
  • "Competitive Tensions," Reuters Breakingviews, November 26, 2019 (with Anu Bradford & Katerina Linos). www
  • "Randomizing Policy and the Risk of Multiple Hypothesis Testing," The Regulatory Review, November 20, 2019. www
  • "Trump just blocked a Chinese takeover of a sensitive U.S. company. Here's what's going on.," Washington Post, September 15, 2017 (with Helen V. Milner & Dustin Tingley). www
  • "The Political Donations Made by Robert Mueller’s Team Are Not Evidence of Bias," Los Angeles Times, July 28, 2017 (with Adam Bonica & Maya Sen). www
  • "The Potential Silver Lining in Trump’s Travel Ban," Washington Post, July 5, 2017 (with Genevieve Lakier). www
  • "Using Experiments to Improve Women's Rights in Pakistan," openDemocracy, May 3, 2017 (with Gulnaz Anjum). www
  • "New Data Show How Liberal Merrick Garland Really Is," Washington Post, March 30, 2016 (with Adam Bonica & Jacob Goldin, Kyle Rozema & Maya Sen). www
  • "Gaming the Laws of War," The New Rambler, July 1, 2015. www
  • "The Failure of Constitutional Torture Prohibitions," Washington Post, April 25, 2015 (with Mila Versteeg). www
  • "Rappers v. Scotus," Slate, June 12, 2014 (with Kevin Jiang & Eric A. Posner). www

Awards and Honors

Awards for How Constitutional Rights Matter (Oxford University Press, 2020) (with Mila Versteeg):

  • Winner of the International Society of Public Law’s best book prize
  • Winner of the American Political Science Association’s Human Rights best book prize
  • Reviewed in the American Journal of Comparative Law, Harvard Law Review, International Studies Review, Journal of Legal Education, Law Quarterly Review, Modern Law, and the University of Chicago Law Review
  • Subject of a Symposium Organized by the University of Chicago Law Review
  • Subject of a Symposium Organized by the Jerusalem Review of Legal Studies

Memberships and Professional Affiliations

  • Co-President, Conference on Empirical Legal Studies (2022-2023)
  • Program Committee Chair, American Law and Economic Association (2020, 2024)

Service

  • Appointments Committee, Entry Level Hiring Chair (2021-2022)
  • Appointments Committee, Lateral Hiring Chair (2020-2021)
  • Bigelow Fellowship Program, Co-Chair (2016-2019)
  • Dean Review Committee (2019)
  • International Programs Committee (2015-Present)
  • Joint Degrees Committee (2016-2021)

Events

  • “Bilateral Labor Agreements” (June 2021)
  • “Measuring Constitutional Impact” (October 2020)
  • “Improving the Lives of India’s Urban Poor” (December 2019)
  • “Activism, Advocacy, & Action for India’s Informal Settlements” (December 2019)
  • “Rethinking the Chicago School of Antitrust” (May 2019)
  • “The Quality of Life in Slums” (December 2018) “The Optimal Design of Guest Worker Programs” (October 2016)
  • “Developing Best Practices for Legal Analysis” (May 2016)
  • “Has International Human Rights Law Failed?” (October 2014)

Editorial Work

  • Co-Editor: Journal of Law and Economics
  • Editorial Board Member: Journal of Law and Courts

Referee

  • Peer-Reviewed Journals: Acta Politica; American Journal of Comparative Law; American Journal of International Law; American Journal of Political Science; American Law & Economics Review; American Political Science Review; Cambridge Review of International Affairs; Climate Policy; Comparative Political Studies; Environmental Politics; European Journal of International Relations; European Journal of Political Economy; Global Environmental Politics; Human Rights Review; International Interactions; International Journal of Comparative and Applied Criminal Justice; International Journal of Constitutional Law; International Journal of Law, Crime and Justice; International Organization; International PoliticsInternational Review of Law & EconomicsLaw & Social Inquiry; Law & Society Review; Journal of Business Ethics; Journal of Comparative Politics; Journal of Conflict Resolution; Journal of Empirical Legal Studies; Journal of Human Rights; Journal of Law and Courts; Journal of Law and Economics; Journal of Law, Economics, & Organization; Journal of Legal Studies; Journal of Peace Research; Journal of Policy Analysis and Management; Journal of Political Economy; Journal of Politics; Nature – Human Behaviour; PNAS; Political Analysis; Regulation & Governance; Review of International Organizations; Review of International Political Economy; World Politics; World Trade Review
  • Law Reviews: Columbia Law Review; Harvard Law Review; Stanford Law Review; University of Chicago Law Review; Yale Law Journal
  • Conferences: American Law & Economics Association Program Chair; American Law & Economics Association Area Organizer; European Law & Economics Association
  • Funding Agencies: Irish Research Council; Israel Science Foundation; Marsden Fund of New Zealand; National Science Foundation; Research Foundation – Flanders; National Science Center of the Government of Poland