James M. Anderson

Photo of James Anderson
Director, Justice Policy; Director, RAND Institute for Civil Justice; Senior Behavioral Scientist; Professor, Pardee RAND Graduate School
Pittsburgh Office


J.D., Yale Law School; B.A. in ethics, politics, and economics, Yale College

Media Resources

This researcher is available for interviews.

To arrange an interview, contact the RAND Office of Media Relations at (310) 451-6913, or email media@rand.org.

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James Anderson is director of the Justice Policy program and of the Institute for Civil Justice in RAND Justice, Infrastructure, and Environment. He has been the principal investigator on a wide range of projects, ranging from policy implications of autonomous vehicle technology to understanding the effects of indigent defense systems. He has been funded by the National Institute of Justice, the National Institutes of Health, the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the State of Pennsylvania, the Institute for Civil Justice, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Department of Defense, and the National Science Foundation. His work has appeared in the Yale Law Journal, the Stanford Law Review, the University of Pennsylvania Law Review, the Journal of Law and Economics, the Oxford University Press, and in numerous RAND publications. He has presented to a wide variety of academic and professional audiences. He is a member of the Centers for Disease Control's Policy Surveillance Standards Expert Committee and a Member of the Transportation Research Board of the National Academies Committee on Vehicle Highway Automation. In addition to leading research, Anderson currently serves as a member of RAND's Institutional Review Board. Before joining RAND, he clerked for the Honorable Morton Greenberg of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and practiced law for 10 years. He received a J.D. from Yale Law School and a B.A. in ethics, politics, and economics from Yale University.

Recent Projects

  • Compensation for Accidental Injury and Illness
  • Liability Implications of Cybersecurity Risks in Transportation
  • Improving the Production and Use of Forensic Science
  • Policy Implications of Autonomous Vehicle Technology
  • Indigent Defense in Louisiana

Selected Publications

James Anderson, Eric Helland, and Merritt McAlister, "Measuring How Stock Ownership Affects Which Judges and Justice Hear Cases," Georgetown Law Journal, 103:1163, 2015

James Anderson, Nidhi Kalra, Karlyn Stanley, Paul Sorensen, Constantine Samaras, Oluwatobi A. Oluwatola, Autonomous Vehicle Technology: A Guide for Policymakers, RAND (RR-443-1-RC), 2014

James Anderson & Ivan Waggoner, The Changing Role of Criminal Law in Controlling Corporate Behavior, RAND (RR-412-ICJ), 2014

James M. Anderson, John M. MacDonald, Ricky Bluthenthal, and J. Scott Ashwood, "Reducing Crime by Shaping the Built Environment with Zoning: An Empirical Study of Los Angeles," University of Pennsylvania Law Review, 161(3):699-756, 2013

James Anderson and Paul Heaton, "How Much Difference Does the Lawyer Make? The Effect of Defense Counsel on Murder Case Outcomes," Yale Law Journal, 122:154, 2012

James Anderson and Eric Helland, "How Much Should Judges be Paid? An Empirical Study on the Effect of Judicial Pay on the State Bench," Stanford Law Review, 64(5):1277, 2012

James M. Anderson, Paul Heaton, Stephen J. Carroll, The U.S. Experience with No-Fault Automobile Insurance, RAND (MG-860-ICJ), 2010

James Anderson, Jeffrey Kling, & Kate Stith, "Measuring Interjudge Sentencing Disparity: Before and After the Federal Sentencing Guidelines," Journal of Law & Economics, 42:271, 1999

Honors & Awards

  • RAND Bronze Award, RAND
  • Stephen J. Carroll Distinguished Scholar at RAND, RAND Institute for Civil Justice

Recent Media Appearances

Interviews: The New York Times; Insurance & Financial Advisor


  • The facade of the United States Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C.

    Fixing Judicial Recusals

    Recently, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito recused himself in Federal Energy Regulatory Commission v. Electric Power Supply Association, a case with important implications for the power industry, while Justice Stephen Breyer failed to do so, apparently in error. This misstep illustrates some of the problems with the judicial recusal system.

    Feb 10, 2016 Inside Sources

  • Young woman texting in car

    What if Distracted Driving Was Safe?

    According to consumer research, the ability to consume media, write an email, or even sleep during transport is a key selling point for autonomous vehicles (self-driving cars), which could be widely available in the fairly near future. Autonomous vehicle technology could also produce a wide range of public benefits.

    Jul 1, 2014 The RAND Blog

  • A driverless electric vehicle at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore

    With Self-Driving Cars, Promise Outweighs Peril

    The promise of autonomous vehicles is finally near to being realized and the substantial benefits to society in terms of safety, mobility, and fuel economy cannot be ignored. It is not too early for policy makers to begin to think about the challenges that lie ahead.

    Jan 29, 2014 The Detroit News