Professor Matthew Stephenson

Matthew Stephenson Home Page

[faculty photo]

Professor of Law

Office: Griswold 509
Assistant: Jennifer Minnich 617/384-5428
Phone: (617) 495-9863


Biographical Statement

Matthew Stephenson is Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, where he teaches administrative law, legislation and regulation, anti-corruption law, and political economy of public law. His research focuses on the application of positive political theory to public law, particularly in the areas of administrative procedure, anti-corruption, judicial institutions, and separation of powers. Prior to joining the Harvard Law School faculty, Professor Stephenson clerked for Senior Judge Stephen Williams on the D.C. Circuit and for Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court. He received his J.D. and Ph.D. (political science) from Harvard in 2003, and his B.A. from Harvard College in 1997.

Global Anticorruption Blog

Bibliography on Corruption and Anti-Corruption (Last updated September 9, 2019)

Newest Additions to Bibliography (added in September 2019 update)


"Corruption and Democratic Institutions: A Review and Synthesis" in Susan Rose-Ackerman & Paul Lagunes, eds., CORRUPTION: GLOBAL INFLUENCES, POLITICS AND THE MARKET (2015), pp. 92-133.

The Welfare Effects of Minority-Protective Judicial Review, 24 JOURNAL OF THEORETICAL POLITICS 2015) (with Justin Fox)

The Constraining, Liberating, and Informational Effects of Non-Binding Law, 65 JOURNAL OF LEGAL EDUCATION 45 (2015) (with Justin Fox)

Legislation and Regulation and Reform of the First Year, 65 JOURNAL OF LEGAL EDUCATION 45 (2015) (with John Manning)

Over-Accountability, 6 JOURNAL OF LEGAL ANALYSIS 185 (2014) (with Jacob E. Gersen)

Does Separation of Powers Promote Stability and Moderation?, 42 JOURNAL OF LEGAL STUDIES 331 (2013)

Can the President Appoint Principal Executive Officers Without a Senate Confirmation Vote?, 122 YALE LAW JOURNAL 940 (2013)

Judicial Review as a Response to Political Posturing, 105 AMERICAN POLITICAL SCIENCE REVIEW 397 (2011) (with Justin Fox)

Seminole Rock's Domain, (with Miri Pogoriler) 79 GEORGE WASHINGTON LAW REVIEW 1449 (2011).

Information Acquisition and Institutional Design, 124 HARVARD LAW REVIEW 1422 (2011).

Judicial Deference to Inconsistent Agency Statutory Interpretations, (with Yehonatan Givati), 40 JOURNAL OF LEGAL STUDIES 85 (2011).

Statutory Interpretation by Agencies, in RESARCH HANDBOOK IN PUBLIC CHOICE AND PUBLIC LAW (Daniel Farber & Anne Joseph O'Connell eds., Edward Elgar Publishing, 2010).

Political Accountability under Alternative Institutional Regimes, 22 JOURNAL OF THEORETICAL POLITICS 139 (2010) (with Jide O. Nzelibe)

Complementary Constraints: Separation of Powers, Rational Voting, and Constitutional Design, 123 HARVARD LAW REVIEW 655 (2010) (with Jide O. Nzelibe)

Lobbyists as Imperfect Agents: Implications for Public Policy in a Pluralist System, 47 HARVARD JOURNAL ON LEGISLATION 1 2010 (with Howell E. Jackson)

Legal Realism for Economists, 23 JOURNAL OF ECONOMIC PERSPECTIVES (2009)

Chevron Has Only One Step, (with Adrian Vermeule) 95 VIRGINIA LAW REVIEW 597 (2009).

The Price of Public Action: Constitutional Doctrine and the Judicial Manipulation of Legislative Enactment Costs 118 YALE LAW JOURNAL 2 (2008)

Optimal Political Control of the Bureaucracy 107 MICHIGAN LAW REVIEW 53 (2008).

Evidentiary Standards and Information Acquisition in Public Law 10 AMERICAN LAW & ECONOMICS REVIEW 351 (2008)

The Administrative Law of Borrowed Regulations: Legal Questions Regarding the Bankruptcy Law's Incorporation of IRS Standards 1 NORTON BANKRUPTCY LAW ADVISER 1 (2008) (with Kristin E. Hickman)

Bureaucratic Decision Costs and Endogenous Agency Expertise, 23(2) JOURNAL OF LAW, ECONOMICS & ORGANIZATION 469 (June 2007)

Regulatory Quality under Imperfect Oversight,(with Ethan Bueno de Mequita) 101(3) AMERICAN POLITICAL SCIENCE REVIEW (August 2007)

Judicial Reform in Developing Countries: Constraints and Opportunities, in Francois Bourguignon & Boris Pleskovic eds., ANNUAL WORLD BANK CONFERENCE ON DEVELOPMENT ECONOMICS: BEYOND TRANSITION (World Bank, 2007)

The Strategic Substitution Effect: Textual Plausibility, Procedural Formality, and Judicial Review of Agency Statutory Interpretations 120 HARVARD LAW REVIEW 528 (2006)

A Costly Signaling Theory of "Hard Look" Judicial Review, ADMINISTRATIVE LAW REVIEW, 2006; 58 (4) 753-814

Legislative Allocation of Delegated Power: Uncertainty, Risk, and the Choice Between Agencies and Courts, 119 HARVARD LAW REVIEW 1036 (2006)

Legal Institutions and Informal Networks, 18 JOURNAL OF THEORETICAL POLITICS 40 (2006) (with Ethan Bueno de Mesquita)

Public Regulation of Private Enforcement: The Case for Expanding the Role of Administrative Agencies, 91 VIRGINIA LAW REVIEW 93 (2005)

Court of Public Opinion: Government Accountability and Judicial Power, 20 JOURNAL OF LAW, ECONOMICS & ORGANIZATION 379 (2004)

Mixed Signals: Reconsidering the Political Economy of Judicial Deference to Administrative Agencies, 56 ADMINISTRATIVE LAW REVIEW 657 (2004)

"When the Devil Turns...": The Political Foundations of Independent Judicial Review, 32 JOURNAL OF LEGAL STUDIES 59 (2003)

Informative Precedent and Intrajudicial Communication, 96 AMERICAN POLITICAL SCIENCE REVIEW 755 (2003) (with Ethan Bueno de Mesquita) (reprinted in John R. Bond et al. eds, INSTITUTIONAL GAMES AND THE U.S. SUPREME COURT (University of Virginia Press, 2006)

A Tale of Two Theories: The Legal Basis for the EPA's Proposed Revision to the Routine Maintenance, Repair, and Replacement Exemption, 33 ENVIRONMENTAL LAW REPORTER 10789 (2003)

A Trojan Horse Behind Chinese Walls?: Problems and Prospects of U.S.-Sponsored "Rule of Law" Reform Projects in the People's Republic of China, 18 UCLA PACIFIC BASIN LAW JOURNAL 64 (2000) (updated and reprinted in Thomas Carothers ed., PROMOTING THE RULE OF LAW ABROAD: IN SEARCH OF KNOWLEDGE (Washington, D.C.: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 2006))

Short Comments and Replies

The Costs of Voting Rule Chevron: A Comment on Gersen and Vermeule's Proposal, 116 YALE L.J. POCKET PART (2007)

The Legislative Choice between Agencies and Courts: A Response to Farber and Vermeule, 119 HARV. L. REV. F. 173 (2006)


Legislation and Regulation, 2nd Edition (Foundation Press, 2013) (1st Edition, 2010) (with John F. Manning)