A scholar whose work has explored the law and economics of protective labor regulation, the enforcement of workplace safety laws, and legal history, Alison D. Morantz seeks to parse the real–world effects of legal and policy reform. Much of her recent empirical research examines the effects of unionization on mine safety and the intensity of regulatory scrutiny, the ways in which statistical techniques can be used to target the nation’s most hazardous employers, the consequences of permitting firms to opt out of workers’ compensation, and the impact of devolving enforcement authority from federal to state regulators.
Morantz is the principal investigator of multi–year research projects funded by the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, and co–director of the Martin Daniel Gould Center for Conflict Resolution’s ADR Research Initiative. In the spring of 2010, she was one of four experts appointed, at Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis’s request, to a federal panel that provided an independent analysis of the Mine Safety and Health Administration’s internal review following the explosion at Upper Big Branch Mine on April 5, 2010, that claimed 29 miners’ lives.
After receiving a BA summa cum laude from Harvard in 1993, Morantz earned an MSc from Oxford University on a Rhodes Scholarship; a JD from Yale Law School; and a PhD in economics from Harvard University. She subsequently clerked for Judge Patti B. Saris of the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, and worked as a union–side labor lawyer and antidiscrimination advocate in Boston, before joining the Stanford Law School faculty in 2004.