Francine Lafontaine is the William Davidson Professor of Business Economics and Public Policy at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business and a professor of economics (courtesy) in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. She is a professor of law through a courtesy appointment at the University of Michigan Law School.
Lafontaine's areas of interest are in the fields of industrial organization and organizational economics. Her research is mostly concerned with interfirm contracting, especially understanding vertical integration decisions and vertical contractual arrangements used in procurement and distribution, along with associated competition (antitrust) policy issues. She also studies the effect of contracting practices on firm performance, as well as issues surrounding business creation and survival in retail and small-scale service industries more generally.
She has served in several administrative roles at the Ross School of Business, including as interim dean from May 2021 to August 1, 2022, associate dean for Business+Impact from July 2020 to May 2021, and senior associate dean for Faculty and Research from January 2016 to July 2020. From November 2014 to December 2015, she served as director of the Bureau of Economics at the US Federal Trade Commission.
She holds an honorary doctorate from the Université de Rennes in Brittany, France, is a research fellow at the Centre for Economic Policy Research in London, and has served as president of the Society of Industrial Organization and president of the Society for Institutional & Organizational Economics.