Daniel Li Chen is Director of Research at the CNRS and Professor at the Toulouse School of Economics. He is also a Senior Fellow at the IAST and the founder of oTree Open Source Research Foundation and Data Science Justice Collaboratory. Chen was previously Chair of Law and Economics and co-founder of Law and Economics Center at ETH; he was a tenure-track assistant professor in Law (primary), Economics, and Public Policy at Duke University. He received his BA (Summa Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa) and MS from Harvard University in Applied Mathematics and Economics; completed his Economics PhD from MIT; and obtained a JD from Harvard Law School.
Chen uses his extensive empirical training to tackle long standing legal questions previously difficult to empirically analyze. He has attained prominence through the development of open source tools to study human behavior and through large-scale empirical studies – data science, artificial intelligence, and machine learning – on the relationship between law, social norms and the enforcement of legal norms, and on judicial systems.
During World War I, the British military sentenced over 3,000 soldiers to death, but only executed 12% of them; the others received commuted sentences, unbeknownst to soldiers at the time. I verify that variation in commutations andexecutions is consistent with a random process. Using this result, I identify the effect of executions on subsequent desertions. There is limited evidence that executing deserters deterred absences, while executing Irish soldiers, regardless of the crime, spurred absences, particularly Irish absences. I present a model where perceived legitimacy of authority affects why people obey the law.
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Additional information is available on the following webpage: Stern Economic History Seminar webpage