Ainsley, Caitlin, Cliff Carrubba, and Georg Vanberg. 2019. “The future matters: Judicial Preferences over legal rules and decision-making on collegial courts.” Journal of Law & Courts. (link)

High courts such as the US Supreme Court announce legal rules that guide subsequent decisions by lower courts and other actors. Because legal rules are forward-looking in this sense, judges' expectations about the distribution of future cases are critical. Focusing on this fact, we provide micro-foundations for judicial preferences over legal rules by deriving them directly from expectations about the distribution of future cases. Doing so has important consequences: In contrast to standard assumptions in models of judicial decision-making, preferences over legal rules are asymmetric rather than symmetric. We demonstrate that this has signi cant implications for judicial decision-making on collegial courts. Finally, we show that changes in the case distribution — for example, as a result of technological change — can lead to significant legal change, even in the absence of ideological or doctrinal change on the court.

Ainsley, Caitlin. 2017. "The Politics of Central Bank Appointments." Journal of Politics 79: 1205-1219. (link)

Monetary delegation to independent central banks is the institutional standard for responsible monetary policy making. Governments overcome their own high inflation biases by delegating policy-making discretion to conservative central bankers with political independence and long terms of appointment. With a formal model of central bank appointments and monetary policy making, I provide results suggesting this canonical result hinges on widespread, empirically false assumptions about the nature of central bank preferences and the economic environment in which monetary policy making occurs. During periods of heightened monetary uncertainty, delegation to an independent central bank is a less effective institutional solution to achieving inflation goals than extant theory suggests. Under realistic economic conditions, monetary delegation can result in economic outcomes even worse than those we would expect if the government had maintained discretion. 

Gabel, Matthew, Clifford Carrubba, Caitlin Ainsley, and Donald Beaudette.  2012. "Of Courts and Commerce."  Journal of Politics 74: 1125-1137. (link)

Courts often interpret and attempt to enforce rules designed to economically integrate federal and international organizations. In this article, we investigate to what degree court rulings can liberalize trade by examining data from the European Court of Justice (ECJ). Studying the ECJ allows us to compare the Court’s effectiveness through two different mechanisms: infringement proceedings, which are purely a form of international adjudication, and preliminary references, which are applied through national courts. We find infringement rulings have no effect on a nation’s intra-EU imports, while preliminary rulings have a positive, though temporary, effect on a nation’s intra-EU imports.