Matthew Stephenson

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I present a model of the interaction between a government, a terrorist organization, and potential terrorist volunteers in which, as a result of an endogenous choice, individuals with low ability or little education are most likely to volunteer to join the terrorist organization. However, the terrorist organization screens the volunteers for quality.(More)
What causes the increase in terrorism that reportedly often follows government concessions? Given this pattern, why do governments ever conciliate terror-ists? I propose a model in which terrorist organizations become more militant following concessions because only moderate terrorists accept them, leaving extremists in con-trol+ Governments nonetheless are(More)
I study how a revolutionary vanguard might use violence to mobilize a mass public. The mechanism is informational— –the vanguard uses violence to manipulate population member's beliefs about the level of antigovernment sentiment in society. The model has multiple equilibria, one equilibrium in which there may be revolution and another in which there is(More)
W e develop an informational model of judicial decision-making in which deference to precedent is useful to policy-oriented appellate judges because it improves the accuracy with which they can communicate legal rules to trial judges. Our simple model yields new implications and hypotheses regarding conditions under which judges will maintain or break with(More)
This Article is the first comprehensive analysis of the Obama Administration's national auto policy, which set the first federal greenhouse gas standards and strictest fuel efficiency standards for new cars and trucks in U.S. history. It describes the complicated legal, administrative and political background that led to a harmonized federal program,(More)
M ost economic theory presumes— often implicitly—a system of law and adjudication. After all, institutions like property, contract, and government regulation typically entail mechanisms for law-creation and law-application, which usually (though perhaps not inevitably) imply some kind of judicial system (Posner, 2008, pp. 5– 6). Because judges are often(More)
R egulatory agencies impose costs and benefits tailored to individual firms through their discre-tionary enforcement activities. We propose that corporations use political expenditures in part to " flex their muscles " to regulators and convey their willingness to fight an agency's specific determinations in the political arena. Because the signaling(More)
I study a model of mobilization and tactical choice by rebels. The rebel leaders have two tactics available to them: symmetric tactics are most effective when public mobilization is high, whereas asymmetric tactics can be effective with more limited mobilization. The model yields six results. First, successful asymmetric campaigns demonstrate rebel capacity(More)
I study how a variety of structural and strategic factors affect terrorist mobilization, the likelihood of a splinter faction forming, and the positions adopted by terrorist leaders. The factors considered include the state of the economy, the viability of institutions for the nonviolent expression of grievance, the ability of the factional leaders to(More)
Is there such a thing as a criminally " violent brain " ? Does it make sense to speak of " the neurobiology of violence " or the " psychopathology of crime " ? Is it possible to answer on a physiological level what makes one person engage in criminal violence and another not, under similar circumstances? Current research in law and neuroscience is promising(More)