Bengt R. Holmström

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Bengt R. Holmström (2008)

Bengt Robert Holmström (born 18 April 1949, in Helsinki) is the Paul A. Samuelson Professor of Economics at M.I.T. He is a Finnish citizen and belongs to the Swedish speaking minority in Finland.

Holmström received his B.S. in math and science from 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 University. He has been on the faculty of M.I.T. since 1994. Holmström failed his first trial of matriculation examination in Finland.[1]

Bengt Holmström is a devoded political activist and commentator especially in Finnish media. As a firm advocate of monetarism, Holmström has given numerous sadomonetarist comments. In January 2015 Bengt Holmström said that "Maybe it sounds weird, but here [in Europe] has not been enough suffering yet. And no measures [of structural adjustment] have begun. That this like willingness of citizens to bear responsibility is weak indeed."[2] In January 2013 Holmström opposed welfare state by saying in a television interview that "starving" constitutes a good incentive.[3] Holmström is particularly famous for his work on incentives under asymmetric information.

Holmström was a member of Nokia Corporation's board of directors from 1999 until 2012.[4][5] He is a member of the Board of the Aalto University. He is also a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences since 2001.[6]


  1. ^ YLE TV1 Seitsemäs Taivas 4.1.2013.
  2. ^ MTV Seitsemän Uutiset 23.3.2015.
  3. ^ YLE TV1 Seitsemäs Taivas 4.1.2013.
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ Short biography, CV, and publications from MIT.


  • Holmström, Bengt, 1979. "Moral Hazard and Observability," Bell Journal of Economics, 10(1), pp. 74-91.
  • _____, 1982. "Moral Hazard in Teams," Bell Journal of Economics, 13(2), 324-340.
  • _____, 1983. "Equilibrium Long-Term Labor Contracts," Quarterly Journal of Economics, 98(Supplement), pp. 23-54.
  • _____, 1999. "Managerial Incentive Problems: A Dynamic Perspective," Review of Economic Studies, 66(1), 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.
  • _____, 1994. "The Firm as an Incentive System," American Economic Review, 84(4), pp. 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.