Brian Libgober is a political scientist and legal scholar. His research focuses on US political economy, with a special emphasis on the making of regulations by executive agencies. Thematically, he is interested in the relationship between economic inequality, interest group power, and the design of legal institutions. Methodologically, his work combines a variety of approaches, including formal models, quantitative empirics, and case studies.

Since 2022, Brian has been an Assistant Professor of Political Science and Law at Northwestern University, and a Faculty Fellow at the Institute for Policy Research. He is also a Senior Research Scholar at Yale Law School. Previously, Brian was an Assistant Professor at the University of California, San Diego and a postdoctoral fellow in Political Science at Yale.

His research has been published in the Journal of Politics, the Quarterly Journal of Political Science, Political Analysis, the Journal of Public Administration Research & Theory, Perspectives on Politics, and other peer-reviewed journals, and has received financial support from the National Science Foundation, the Russell Sage Foundation, the Washington Center for Equitable Growth, and others. In 2023, he was recognized by the American Political Science Association with the Emerging Scholar in American Political Economy award, “given to a scholar not more than five years beyond the PhD who has made important contributions to the study of the American political economy.”


  • Ph.D. in Political Science, 2018
    Harvard University
  • M.A. in Statistics, 2017
    Harvard University
  • J.D., 2015
    University of Michigan Law School
  • B.A. in Mathematics and Philosophy, 2010
    University of Chicago


Recent Working Papers

  1. How Does Childhood Environment Shape Political Participation? Evidence from Refugees (with Valentin Bolotnyy and Mayya Komisarchik)
  2. Agency Failure and Individual Accountability. Center for the Study of the Administratiave State, Working Paper No. 20-03. R&R at JPART.
  3. Linking Datasets on Organizations Using Half A Billion Open Collaborated Records (with Connor Jerzak).
  4. Inequality in Administrative Democracy: Large-Sample Evidence from American Financial Regulation (with Daniel Carpenter, Devin Judge-Lord, Chris Kenny, Steve Rashin, Jacob Waggoner, and Susan Webb Yackee). Winner, Herbert Kaufman Award for best paper presented at the 2021 APSA Annual Conference.

Peer-Reviewed Publications

  1. Lawyers as Lobbyists: Regulatory Advocacy in American Finance (with Daniel Carpenter). 2024. Perspectives on Politics.
  2. A comprehensive dataset of U.S. federal laws (1789–2022). 2024 Scientific Data.
  3. Optimal allocation of sample size for randomization1.based inference from 2^K factorial designs (with Arun Ravichandran, Nicole E. Pashley, and Tirthankar Dasgupta). Accepted. Journal of Causal Inference.
  4. What Public Comments During Rulemaking Do (and Why) (with Steven Rashin). 2023. American Politics Research.
  5. Making Regulators Reasonable: Do Procedural Rationality Requirements Fix Cognitive Bias? (with Benjamin M. Chen). 2023. JPART.
  6. The Political Ideologies of Organized Interests & Amicus Curiae Briefs: Large1.Scale, Social Network Imputation of Ideal Points (with Sahar Abi1.Hassan, Janet Box-Steffensmeier, Dino Christenson, and Aaron Kaufman). 2023. Political Analysis.
  7. Identifying bureaus with substantial personnel change during the Trump administration: A Bayesian approach (with Mark Richardson). 2023. PLOS: ONE.
  8. Strategic Proposals, Endogenous Comments, and Bias In Rulemaking. 2020. Journal of Politics.
  9. Meetings, Comments, and the Distributive Politics of Rulemaking. 2020. Quarterly Journal of Political Science.
  10. Data and methods for analyzing special interest influence in rulemaking (with Daniel Carpenter, Devin Judge-Lord, and Steven Rashin). 2020. Interest Groups & Advocacy.

Other Publications

  1. Administrative Politics with Clear Stakes and Venues: Strategic Commenting upon Federal Reserve Debit Card Regulations, with Daniel Carpenter. In C. Cameron, B. Canes-Wrone, S. Gordon, & G. Huber (Eds.), Accountability Reconsidered: Voters, Interests, and Information in US Policymaking.
  2. Getting a Lawyer While Black: A Field Experiment. 2020. Lewis & Clark Law Review.
  3. Can the EU be a Constitutional System Without Universal Access to Judical Review. 2015. Michigan Journal of International Law.


Northwestern University

  • Public Policy. Spring 2024.
  • Access to Justice. Sprig 2024.
  • American Politics Field Seminar. Fall 2022.
  • R Workshop. Fall 2022 - Spring 2023.
  • Money in Politics. Fall 2022.

UC San Diego

  • Policy Analysis and Public Welfare: An Introduction to the Policymaking Process. Fall 2021.
  • Law and Administration. Spring 2021. Syllabus.
  • Bureaucratic Politics. Spring 2021. Syllabus
  • Interest Groups and the Policymaking Process. Winter 2021. Syllabus

Yale University

  • American Mass Media: Law, Politics, and Policy. Fall 2019. Syllabus
  • Money in Politics. Spring 2019. Syllabus

Harvard University

  • Formal Models of Domestic Politics. Spring 2017. (Teaching Assistant; Primary Instructor: Horacio Larreguy).
  • Bureaucratic Politics (Teaching Assistant; Primary Instructor: Daniel Carpenter)


  • Constitutional Law & Judicial Politics. Spring 2015. (Course Assistant; Primary Instructor: Christopher Warshaw).

University of Michigan

  • Mass Media and Election Politics. Fall 2013. (Graduate Student Instructor; Primary Instructor: Nicholas Valentino).