Bengt Holmström

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Bengt Holmström
Bengt Holmström.jpg
Bengt Holmström (2013)
Born Bengt Robert Holmström
(1949-04-18) April 18, 1949 (age 68)
Helsinki, Finland
Nationality Finnish
Alma mater University of Helsinki (BS)
Stanford University (MS, PhD)
Robert B. Wilson
Jonathan Levin[1]
Awards Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences (2016)
Bengt Holmström at Nobel prize press conference in Stockholm, Sweden, December 2016

Bengt Robert Holmström (born 18 April 1949) is a Finnish economist who is currently Paul A. Samuelson Professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Together with Oliver Hart, he received the Central Bank of Sweden Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 2016.[2]

Life and career[edit]

Holmström was born in Helsinki, Finland, and belongs to the Swedish speaking minority of Finland. He received his B.S. in mathematics and science from the University of Helsinki, a Master of Science degree in Operations Research from Stanford University in 1975, and his Ph.D. from the Graduate School of Business at Stanford. He has been on the faculty of M.I.T. since 1994. Prior to that he served as an associate professor at the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University (1979–1982) and as the Edwin J. Beinecke Professor of Management at Yale University’s School of Management (1983–1994). Holmström was elected Alumnus of The Year by the University of Helsinki Alumni Association in 2010.

Holmström is particularly well known for his work on principal-agent theory. More generally, he has worked on the theory of contracting and incentives especially as applied to the theory of the firm, to corporate governance and to liquidity problems in financial crises.

Holmström is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Econometric Society and the American Finance Association, and a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and the Finnish Academy of Science and Letters. In 2011, he served as President of the Econometric Society. He holds honorary doctorate degrees from the Stockholm School of Economics, Sweden, the University of Vaasa and the Hanken School of Economics in Finland. Most recently he was awarded the 2012 Banque de France-TSE Senior Prize in Monetary Economics and Finance, the 2013 Stephen A. Ross Prize in Financial Economics and the 2013 Chicago Mercantile Exchange – MSRI Prize for Innovative Quantitative Applications.

Holmström was a member of Nokia's board of directors from 1999 until 2012.[3][4] He is a member of the Board of the Aalto University.[5]

In 2016, Holmström won the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel together with Oliver Hart "for their contributions to contract theory".[6]


  • Holmström, Bengt, 1972. "En icke-linear lösningsmetod för allokationsproblem". University of Helsinki.
  • Holmström, Bengt, 1979. "Moral Hazard and Observability," Bell Journal of Economics, 10(1), pp. 74–91.
  • Holmstrom, Bengt. "Moral hazard in teams." The Bell Journal of Economics (1982): 324-340.
  • Holmstrom, Bengt. "Equilibrium long-term labor contracts." The Quarterly Journal of Economics (1983): 23-54. 23
  • Holmström, B., 1999. Managerial incentive problems: A dynamic perspective. The Review of Economic Studies, 66(1), pp.169-182.169–182
  • Holmström, Bengt, and Paul Milgrom, 1991. "Multitask Principal-Agent Analyses: Incentive Contracts, Asset Ownership, and Job Design," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, 7, 24–52.
  • Holmstrom, B. and Milgrom, P., 1994. The firm as an incentive system. The American Economic Review, pp.972-991. 972–991.
  • Holmström, Bengt, and John Roberts, 1998. "The Boundaries of the Firm Revisited," Journal of Economic Perspectives, 12(4), pp. 73–94
  • Holmström, Bengt, and Jean Tirole, 1998. "Private and Public Supply of Liquidity," Journal of Political Economy, 106(1), pp. 1–40.


  1. ^ Levin, Jonathan David (1999). Relational contracts, incentives and information (Ph.D.). MIT. Retrieved 10 October 2016. 
  2. ^ Appelbaum, Binyamin (October 10, 2016). "Oliver Hart and Bengt Holmstrom Win Nobel in Economics for Work on Contracts". New York Times. Retrieved October 10, 2016. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Nokia plans board of directors refresh, chairman to step down". Retrieved 2016-10-10. 
  5. ^ Short biography, CV, and publications from MIT.
  6. ^ "Press Release: The Prize in Economic Sciences 2016". The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. Retrieved 10 October 2016. 

External links[edit]