Oliver Hart (economist)

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Oliver Hart
Nobel Laureates 0983 (31117127490).jpg
Oliver Hart at Nobel press conference in Stockholm, Sweden, December 2016
Born Oliver Simon D'Arcy Hart
(1948-10-09) October 9, 1948 (age 68)
London, England
Residence Cambridge, Massachusetts, US
Nationality British, American
Fields Law and Economics
Institutions Harvard University
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
London School of Economics
Alma mater King's College, Cambridge BA
University of Warwick MA
Princeton University PhD
Doctoral advisor Michael Rothschild
Doctoral students David S. Scharfstein[1]
Jeremy C. Stein[2]
Luigi Zingales[3]
Richard Holden
Notable awards Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences (2016)
Spouse Rita B. Goldberg

Oliver Simon D'Arcy Hart (born on October 9, 1948) is a British-born American economist, currently the Andrew E. Furer Professor of Economics at Harvard University. Together with Bengt R. Holmström, he received the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 2016.

Biography[edit]

Oliver Hart was born in Britain to Philip D'Arcy Hart, a medical researcher, and Ruth Meyer, a gynecologist. Both his parents were Jewish; his father was a member of the noble Montagu family; Oliver's great-grandfather was Samuel Montagu, 1st Baron Swaythling.[4]

Hart earned his BA in mathematics at King's College, Cambridge, in 1969 (where his contemporaries included the former Bank of England Governor Mervyn King), his MA in economics at the University of Warwick in 1972, and his PhD in economics at Princeton University in 1974. He was a fellow at Churchill College, Cambridge, and then a professor at the London School of Economics. In 1984, he returned to the U.S., where he taught at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and, since 1993, at Harvard University.[5] He became the first Andrew E. Furer Professor of Economics in 1997[5] and was chairman of the Harvard economics department from 2000 to 2003. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, of the Econometric Society, of the American Finance Association, a corresponding fellow of the British Academy, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences. He has been president of the American Law and Economics Association and vice president of the American Economic Association, and has several honorary degrees. He is also a Visiting Centennial Professor in the Department of Economics at the London School of Economics.

Hart won the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2016 for his work on contract theory.[6]

Academics[edit]

Hart is an expert on contract theory, theory of the firm, corporate finance, and law and economics. His research centers on the roles that ownership structure and contractual arrangements play in the governance and boundaries of corporations. He has used his theoretical work on firms in two legal cases as a government expert (Black and Decker v. U.S.A. and WFC Holdings Corp. (Wells Fargo) v. U.S.A.).

Personal life[edit]

Hart is an American citizen.[7] He is married to Rita B. Goldberg, a Harvard literature professor and author of the second-generation Holocaust memoir Motherland: Growing Up With the Holocaust.[5][8] They have two sons and two grandsons.

Books[edit]

  • Firms, Contracts, and Financial Structure (Oxford University Press, 1995).

Selected articles[edit]

  • "On the Optimality of Equilibrium when the Market Structure is Incomplete", Journal of Economic Theory, December 1975, 418–443
  • "Takeover Bids, the Free-rider problem, and the Theory of the Corporation" (with Sanford J. Grossman), Bell Journal of Economics, Spring 1980, 42–64
  • "An Analysis of the principal–agent problem" (with Sanford J. Grossman), Econometrica (January 1983) 7–46.
  • "The Market Mechanism as an Incentive Scheme," Bell Journal of Economics, 14 (Autumn 1983) 366-82.
  • "The Costs and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration" (with Sanford J. Grossman), Journal of Political Economy, August 1986, 691–719.
  • "One Share-One vote and the Market for Corporate Control" (with Sanford J. Grossman), Journal of Financial Economics, 1988
  • "Incomplete Contracts and Renegotiation" (with John Hardman Moore), Econometrica 56(4) (July 1988).
  • "Property Rights and the Nature of the Firm" (with John Hardman Moore), Journal of Political Economy 98(6) (1990).
  • " A Theory of Debt Based on the Inalienability of Human Capital " (with John Hardman Moore), Quarterly Journal of Economics, November 1994, 841–879
  • "The Proper Scope of Government: Theory and an Application to Prisons" (with Andrei Shleifer and Robert W. Vishny), Quarterly Journal of Economics 112(4) (1997) 1126–61.
  • "Contracts as Reference Points" (with John Hardman Moore), Quarterly Journal of Economics, February 2008,1–48.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Scharfstein, David (1986). Market competition and incentives (Ph.D.). MIT. Retrieved 19 February 2017. 
  2. ^ Stein, Jeremy C. (1986). Economic models with heterogeneously informed participants (Ph.D.). MIT. Retrieved 30 October 2016. 
  3. ^ Zingales, Luigi (1992). The value of corporate control (Ph.D.). MIT. Retrieved 8 December 2016. 
  4. ^ "Jewish economist at Harvard shares Nobel Prize". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. October 10, 2016. 
  5. ^ a b c "Oliver Hart Named First Andrew Furer Professor of Economics". Harvard Gazette. Harvard University. October 2, 1997. Archived from the original on March 9, 2016. 
  6. ^ 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. 
  7. ^ "American-Jewish, Finnish economists win Nobel for contract theory". Times of Israel. October 10, 2016. 
  8. ^ Ringstrom, Anna; Rundstrom, Bjorn (October 10, 2016). "After Winning Economics Nobel, Oliver Hart Hugs Holocaust Memoirist Wife". The Forward. 

External links[edit]