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David Spence


Department:     Business, Government & Society

Industry Areas:     Energy, Environmental Law, Oil & Gas, Public Policy

David Spence headshot

Professor Spence's research and teaching focuses on business-government relations and the regulation of business, particularly energy and environmental regulation. He received his Ph.D in political science from Duke University, and his J.D. from the University of North Carolina. Professor Spence has taught as a visitor at the Duke University Nicholas School of the Environment, the Vanderbilt Law School, the Cornell Law School, Harvard Law School, IMADEC University in Vienna, Austria, and the Bren School of the Environment at the University of California at Santa Barbara.



McCombs School MBA Teaching Honor Roll, 2002, 2003, 2008



David Spence. Spring 2022. Naive Administrative Law: Complexity, Delegation and Climate Policy. Yale Journal on Regulation 39(2): 964-1011.

David B. Spence. 2019. Regulation and the New Politics of (Energy) Market Entry. Notre Dame Law Review 95(1), 327-396.


David B. Spence. 2019. The Effects of Partisan Polarization on the Bureaucracy, in Can America Govern Itself?, Frances E. Lee and Nolan McCarty, eds. Cambridge University Press, Chap. 11: 271-300.


Sanya Carley, Lincoln L. Davies, and David B. Spence. 2018. Empirical Evaluation of the Stringency and Design of Renewable Portfolio Standards. Nature Energy 3(9), 754-763.


David E. Adelman and David B. Spence. 2018. U.S. Climate Policy and the Regional Economics of Electricity Generation. Energy Policy 120, 268-75.


David B. Spence. 2017. Naive Energy Markets. Notre Dame Law Review 92(3), 973-1030.


Sergey Reid and David B. Spence. 2016. Methodology for Evaluating Existing Infrastructure and Facilitating the Diffusion of PEVs. Energy Policy 89, 1-10.


Emily Hammond and David B. Spence. 2016. The Regulatory Contract in the Marketplace. Vanderbilt University Law Review 69(1), 141-216.


Jody Freeman and David B. Spence. 2014. Old Statutes, New Problems. University of Pennsylvania Law Review 163(1), 1-93.


David B. Spence. 2014. The Political Economy of Local Vetoes. Texas Law Review 93(2), 351-413.


David B. Spence. 2013. Federalism, Regulatory Lags, and the Political Economy of Energy Production. University of Pennsylvania Law Review161(2), 431-508.


Jody Freeman and David B. Spence. 2013. Should the Federal Government Regulate Fracking? Wall Street Journal Apr. 15, R5-R8.


David B. Spence. 2013. The Shale Gas Revolution Continues. Power 157(2), 60-60.


David B. Spence and Robert A. Prentice. 2012. The Transformation of American Energy Regulation and the Problem of Market Power. Boston College Law Review 53, 131-202.


David B. Spence. 2011. Regulation, "Republican Moments", and Energy Policy Reform. Brigham Young University Law Review 2011(5), 1561-1623.


David B. Spence. 2010. The Political Barriers to a National RPS. Connecticut Law Review 42, 1451-73.


David B. Spence. 2008. Can Law Manage Competitive Energy Markets? Cornell Law Review 93, 765-817.


David B. Spence and Robert A. Prentice. 2007. Sarbanes-Oxley as Quack Corporate Governance: How Wise is the Received Wisdom. Georgetown Law Journal 95, 1843-1909.


David B. Spence. 2005. Coal-Fired Power in a Restructured Electricity Market. Duke Environmental Law and Policy Forum 15, 187-220.


David B. Spence. 2005. The Politics of Electricity Restructuring: Theory vs. Practice. Wake Forest Law Review 40, 417-449.


David B. Spence and Paula C. Murray. 2003. A Fair Weather Federalism on the High Court. Harvard Environmental Law Review 27, 71-105.


David B. Spence. 2002. A Public Choice Progressivism, Continued. Cornell Law Review 87, 397-448.


David B. Spence. 2002. The Never Ending Story: The Constitutionality of Superfund's Retroactive Liability Regime. Environmental Law Reporter 32, 11284-11298.


David B. Spence. 2001. Can the Second Generation Learn from the First? Understanding the Politics of Regulatory Reform. Capital University Law Review 29, 205-22.


David B. Spence and Lekha Gopalakrishnan. 2001. The New Political Economy of Regulation: Looking for Positive-Sum Change in a Zero-Sum World, in Environmental Contracts: Comparative Approaches to Regulatory Innovation in the United States and Europe, Orts and Deketelaere, eds. Kluwer Academic Publishers.


David B. Spence. 2001. The Shadow of the Rational Polluter. California Law Review 89, 917-98.


David B. Spence and Frank B. Cross. 2000. A Public Choice Case for the Administrative State. Georgetown Law Journal 89, 97-142.


David B. Spence and Lekha Gopalakrishnan. 2000. Bargaining Theory and Regulatory Reform: The Political Logic of Inefficient Regulation. Vanderbilt Law Review 53, 1-58.


David B. Spence. 1999. Agency Discretion and the Dynamics of Procedural Reform. Public Administration Review 59, 425-42.


David B. Spence. 1999. Imposing Individual Liability as a Legislative Policy Choice: Holmesian 'Intuitions' and Superfund Reform. Northwestern University Law Review 93, 389-452.


David B. Spence. 1999. Managing Delegation Ex Ante: Using Law to Steer Administrative Agencies. Journal of Legal Studies 28, 413-59.


Paula C. Murray and David B. Spence. 1999. The Law, Economics and Politics of Federal Preemption Jurisprudence. California Law Review 87, 1125-1206.


David B. Spence. 1998. Using the Internet in Environmental Law Instruction. Business and Environment, 3.


David B. Spence. 1997. Administrative Law and Agency Policymaking: Rethinking the Positive Theory of Political Control. Yale Journal on Regulation 14, 407-50.


David B. Spence. 1997. Modeling Away the Delegation Problem. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory 7, 199-219.


William T. Bianco, David B. Spence, and John Wilkerson. 1996. The Electoral Connection in the Early Congress. American Journal of Political Science 40, 145-71.


David B. Spence. 1995. Paradox Lost: Logic, Morality and the Foundations of Environmental Regulation. Columbia Journal of Environmental Law 20, 145-82.


David B. Spence. 1990. New York Environmental Law Handbook. Government Institutes.


Michael Levin and David B. Spence. 1989. SARA Title III: Pitfalls and Practicalities. Journal of the Air Pollution Control Association 39, 29-33.


David B. Spence. 1987. New SEQR Regulations: Fine-Tuning the Process. Westchester Bar Journal 14, 373-86.