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The Continent of International Law


The Continent of International Law. Journal of Conflict Resolution, 57(4): 653-681.

The article introduces the Continent of International Law, describes the coding procedures, and sets out to test several conjectures about international institutions. Additionally, relying on factor analysis, the paper constructs a measure of contract incompleteness and tests the relationship between contract incompleteness and delegation in international agreements. Please cite this paper when using the COIL data.

Replication data (zip file). Supplemental material is contained in the web appendix.


Exit, No Exit.
2010. Duke Journal of Comparative and International Law, Vol. 21(1), pp. 81-119. (with Allison Nau)

Based on Rational Design conjectures, the article examines the design of exit provisions in international agreements. Specifically, the paper looks at the existence of withdrawal clauses as well as the length of notice and wait periods required for a withdrawal. We find evidence that the design of such exit provisions is driven by the underlying cooperation problems, and in particular by enforcement and commitment problems.

Replication data


When, What, and Why Do States Choose to Delegate?
2008. Law and Contemporary Problems, Vol. 71(1), pp. 151-192.

The article uses Rational Design to explain delegation in international agreements. The paper has two primary objectives: to test the Rational Design conjectures about the use of delegation and to analyze the correlation between delegation and other institutional design variables. I find that delegation is widespread, with almost one half of international agreements calling for it. Dispute resolution is the most commonly delegated function and often involves externally delegating authority to an existing arbitration tribunal or an international court. As suggested by Rational Design, delegation, and especially external delegation, increases with the existence of complex cooperation problems, including problems of enforcement and uncertainty. Delegation increases with the heterogeneity and number of parties as well the average level of democracy of the signatories, but is unrelated to the existence of a superpower signatory and to the risk aversion of signing states. These patterns are consistent in multivariate analyses, thereby challenging preexisting beliefs about delegation to international institutions.

Replication data