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Empirical Studies

How filibuster changes affected the federal bench

Joanna M. Shepherd

Professor Shepherd’s research focuses on law and economics, especially on empirical analyses of legal changes and legal institutions. Her recent empirical work has examined issues related to the healthcare industry, tort reform, litigation practice, and judicial behavior. Her forthcoming book with co-author Michael Kang, Free to Judge?: How Campaign Finance Money Biases Judges, will be published by Stanford University Press in 2021. She has published broadly in both law reviews and peer-reviewed journals, including Stanford Law Review, Michigan Law Review, Vanderbilt Law Review, Southern California Law Review, New York University Law Review, Duke Law Journal, UCLA Law Review, Journal of Legal Studies, Journal of Law and Economics, American Law and Economics Review, Review of Law & Economics, Journal of Law, Economics, & Policy, Antitrust Bulletin, Health Matrix: The Journal of Law-Medicine, American Journal of Law & Medicine, and many others. In addition to her academic articles, Professor Shepherd has written two textbooks: The Economic Analysis of Law and The Economics of Industrial Organization. Shepherd teaches Analytical Methods for Lawyers, Law and Economics, Torts, Judicial Behavior, and Legal and Economic Issues in Health Policy.

In addition to serving as an expert source for broadcast media, she’s been interviewed about her research by newspapers including the Wall Street Journal and New York Times. Shepherd’s work has been cited by numerous courts, including the US Supreme Court in Glossip v. Gross (2015) and Williams-Yulee v. Florida Bar (2015). She also has testified about her empirical work before the US House of Representatives Judiciary Committee, the US House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee, the Committee on Law and Justice of the National Academy of Sciences, and several state legislative committees. Shepherd is often invited to present scholarly work for the faculties of leading universities nationwide, including Stanford Law School, the University of Chicago Law School, NYU School of Law, the University of Michigan Law School, Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, Duke University School of Law, Georgetown University Law Center, Vanderbilt Law School, and University of Southern California Gould School of Law. She also teaches economics courses to law professors and federal and state judges.

Before joining Emory in 2005, Shepherd was an assistant professor of economics at Clemson University and worked at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. In addition to teaching at the law school, she is an affiliated professor in Emory’s Department of Economics.

Select Publications

Free to Judge?: How Campaign Finance Money Biases Judges (forthcoming, Stanford University Press 2021) (with Michael Kang)

Filibuster Change and Judicial Appointments, 17 Journal of Empirical Legal Studies 646 (2020) (with Jonathan Nash)

Pharmacy Benefit Managers, Rebates, and Drug Prices: Conflicts of Interest in the Market for Prescription Drugs, 38 Yale Law & Policy Review 360 (2020) 

Discovery Cost Allocation, Incentives, and Signaling, 71 Vanderbilt Law Review 2015 (2018) (with Jonathan Nash)

Consolidation and Innovation in the Pharmaceutical Industry: The Role of Mergers and Acquisitions in the Current Innovation Ecosystem, 21 Journal of Health Care Law and Policy 1 (2018) 

Judging Law in Election Cases, 70 Vanderbilt Law Review 1755 (2017) (with Michael Kang)

The Prescription for Rising Drug Prices: Competition or Price Controls?, 27 Health Matrix: Journal of Law and Medicine 315 (2017)

The Long Shadow of Bush v. Gore: An Empirical Analysis of Judicial Partisanship in Election Cases, 68 Stanford Law Review 1411 (2016) (with Michael Kang)

Judging Judicial Elections, 114 Michigan Law Review 929 (2016) (with Michael Kang)

Partisanship in State Supreme Courts: The Empirical Relationship between Party Campaign Contributions and Judicial Decision Making, 44 Journal of Legal Studies 161 (2015) (with Michael Kang)

Uncovering the Silent Victims of the American Medical Liability System, 67 Vanderbilt Law Review 151 (2014)