Ángela Zorro Medina B.A., Economics, Universidad de los Andes
LL.B. Law (JD equivalent), Universidad de los Andes
LL.M, Yale Law School
JSD, Yale Law School
Office: Phone: Email Interests:

Crime, Political Sociology, Quantitative Methodology, Race/Ethnic/Minority Relations, Stratification, Urban Sociology

Doctoral Candidate (2018); Neubauer Family Foundation Distinguished Scholar

Dissertation Title: Three Essays on the Effects of Legal Reforms on Crime and Inequality

Committee: Robert Vargas (chair), Geoffrey Wodtke, Julian Go

My dissertation explores how changes in the written law can impact crime and inequality outcomes in the U.S. and Latin America. Concretely, I examine the effects of anti-gang legislation across the U.S. on crime rates, incarceration rates, and policing activity. For Latin America, I explore the impact of the region's most profound criminal justice reform, a phenomenon known as the Latin American Criminal Procedural Revolution. For both the Latin American and U.S. cases, I exploit the staggered implementation of the different legal reforms to estimate the causal effect of these changes on pre-trial detention, imprisonment rates, policing activity, prosecutorial activity, and inequality outcomes. 


My research focuses on understanding the ways the criminal justice system produces and reproduces inequality in Latin America and the United States. For my JSD dissertation, I explored the effects of the Latin American Criminal Procedural Revolution (LACPR) - a process in which more than sixty percent of Latin American countries adopted the U.S. adversarial system - in crime rates, convictions and the use of pretrial detention. For the U.S. case, I am interested in understanding the mechanism through which misdemeanor encounters reproduce class and racial stratification. Particularly, my research focuses on the consequences of implementing quality of life policing techniques in cities like New York and Chicago. Previously, I have explored the misdemeanor arrest patterns and the disparities in the cumulative risk of misdemeanor convictions and jail sentences in New York. 


Recent Research / Recent Publications

Selected Publications

Hepburn, Peter, Kohler-Hausmann, Issa, Zorro Medina, Angela. 2019. "Cumulative Risks of Multiple Criminal Justice Outcomes in New York City," Demography, Springer; Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 56(3), pages 1161-1171, June.

Acosta Mejia, Camilo and Mejia, Daniel and Zorro Medina, Angela, Certainty vs. Severity Revisited: Evidence for Colombia (June 15, 2016). Documento CEDE No. 2016-21, Available at SSRN: or

Acosta, Camilo, Hernández Norberto, and Zorro Medina , Angela, 2016. “An Economic Approach of the Pre-Trial Detention” (“Un enfoque económico a la detención preventiva”). In Lozano, E. (coord.) “Theory and Empirical Economic Analysis of the Colombian Analysis of the Colombian Law” (“Teoría y puesta en práctica del análisis económico del derecho en Colombia”). Bogota, Colombia: Uniandes.

Salas, L., and Zorro, A., 2013. “Land Reforms in Colombia: The Peasant Struggle in the Frame of Forced Displacement.” El Otro Derecho, No. 44 p. 199-218.