James M. Anderson

Photo of James Anderson
Senior Behavioral Scientist; Affiliated Faculty, 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 a senior behavioral scientist at the RAND Corporation and a member of the faculty at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. His current research focuses primarily on civil and criminal law. He is working on projects on the appropriate role for the criminal law in regulating business conduct, improving the use of forensic evidence, the effect of regulating medical marijuana and the policy implications of autonomous vehicle technology. Among other topics, Anderson has published on the effect of zoning on crime, the indeterminacy of the economic analysis of tort law, a retrospective on no-fault automobile insurance, and a project on the liability implications of autonomous vehicles. Before joining RAND, he practiced law for ten years. Anderson received a J.D. from Yale Law School and a B.A. in ethics, politics, and economics from Yale University.

Recent Projects

  • How Much Difference Does a Lawyer Make? The Effect of Defense Counsel on Murder Case Outcomes
  • How Much Should Judges be Paid? An Empirical Study on the Effect of Judicial Pay
  • Innovations in the Provision of Legal Services in the United States: An Overview for Policymakers
  • Developing Regulations for Autonomous Vehicles
  • Improving the Production and Use of Forensic Science

Selected Publications

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

Nicholas M. Pace, Greg Ridgeway, James M. Anderson, Cha-Chi Fan, Mariana Horta, Case Weights for Federal Defender Organizations, RAND (TR-1007-AOUSC), 2011

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

Stephen J. Carroll, Lloyd Dixon, James M. Anderson, Thor Hogan, Elizabeth M. Sloss, The Abuse of Medical Diagnostic Practices in Mass Litigation -- The Case of Silica, RAND (TR-774-ICJ), 2009

James Anderson, "The Missing Theory of Variable Selection in the Economic Analysis of Tort Law," Utah Law Review, 2007:255, 2007

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: New York Times; Insurance & Financial Advisor


  • 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 28, 2014 | The Detroit News