Andrei Shleifer

Andrei Shleifer (/ˈʃlaɪfər/ SHLY-fər; born February 20, 1961) is a Russian American economist and Professor of Economics at Harvard University, where he has taught since 1991. Shleifer was awarded the biennial John Bates Clark Medal in 1999 for his seminal works in three fields: corporate finance (corporate governance, law and finance), the economics of financial markets (deviations from efficient markets), and the economics of transition.

IDEAS/RePEc has ranked him as the top economist in the world,[3] and he is also listed as #1 on the list of "Most-Cited Scientists in Economics & Business".[4] He served as project director of the Harvard Institute for International Development's Russian aid project from its inauguration in 1992 until 1997,[5] where he and his associates made Russian investments, and settled a lawsuit from the U.S. government for such a violation of HIID's contract.[6]

Andrei Shleifer
BornFebruary 20, 1961 (age 58)
NationalityRussian American
InstitutionHarvard University
University of Chicago
FieldBehavioral finance
Law and economics
Development economics
School or
New Keynesian economics
Alma materMIT
Harvard University
Peter A. Diamond[1]
Franklin M. Fisher[1]
Sendhil Mullainathan
Matthew Gentzkow
InfluencesLawrence Summers
Milton Friedman[2]
ContributionsLegal origins theory
Big push model
AwardsJohn Bates Clark Medal (1999)
Information at IDEAS / RePEc


He was born to a Jewish family[7] in the Soviet Union and emigrated to Rochester, New York, as a teenager in 1976, where he attended an inner-city school and learned English from episodes of Charlie's Angels.[8] He then studied mathematics, obtaining his B.A. from Harvard University in 1982.[9] Following this, he went to graduate school in economics, acquiring his Ph.D. from MIT in 1986. As a freshman at Harvard, Shleifer took Math 55 with Brad DeLong; he has said that the course made him realize he was not destined to be a mathematician, but the experience gave him a future co-author.[8] Shleifer also met his mentor and professor, Lawrence Summers, during his undergraduate education at Harvard. The two went on to be co-authors, joint grant recipients, and faculty colleagues.[5]

He has held a tenured position in the Department of Economics at Harvard University since 1991 and was, from 2001 through 2006, the Whipple V. N. Jones Professor of Economics.[10] Previously, he taught at the Graduate School of Business at The University of Chicago and briefly at Princeton University.


Shleifer's earliest work was in financial economics, where he has contributed to the field of behavioral finance. He has also written influential papers on political economy, the economics of transition, and economic development, collaborating with his former colleagues in Chicago, Kevin M. Murphy and Robert W. Vishny. Their paper "Industrialization and the Big Push" was credited by Paul Krugman as a major breakthrough which ended a "long slump in development theory".[11]

With coauthors Rafael La Porta, Simeon Djankov and Florencio Lopez de Silanes, Shleifer has also made significant contributions to the study of corporate governance.

In recent years, his research has focused on the legal origins theory (also sometimes known as law and finance theory), which claims that the legal tradition a country adheres to (such as common law or various types of civil law) is an important determining factor for a country's development, most of all financial development.

The Clark medal citation described him as a "superb economist, working in the old Chicago tradition of building simple models, emphasizing basic economic mechanisms, and carefully looking at the evidence.... A recurring theme of his research is the respective role of markets, institutions, and governments."[12]

Asset management

In 1994 Shleifer founded with fellow academics—and behavioral finance specialists—Josef Lakonishok and Robert Vishny a Chicago-based money management firm known as LSV Asset Management. As of February 2006, it managed about $50 billion in quantitative value equity portfolios, though, according to the firm's website, Shleifer has sold his ownership stake.[13]


During the early 1990s, Andrei Shleifer headed a Harvard project under the auspices of the Harvard Institute for International Development (HIID) that invested U.S. government funds in the development of Russia's economy. Schleifer was also a direct advisor to Anatoly Chubais, then vice-premier of Russia, who managed the Rosimushchestvo (Committee for the Management of State Property) portfolio and was a primary engineer of Russian privatization. Shleifer was also tasked with establishing a stock market for Russia that would be a world-class capital market.[14] In 1996 complaints about the Harvard project led Congress to launch a General Accounting Office investigation, which stated that the Harvard Institute for International Development (HIID) was given "substantial control of the U.S. assistance program.”[15]

In 1997, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) canceled most of its funding for the Harvard project after investigations showed that top HIID officials Andre Shleifer and Jonathan Hay had used their positions and insider information to profit from investments in the Russian securities markets. Among other things, the Institute for a Law Based Economy (ILBE) was allegedly used to assist Shleifer's wife, Nancy Zimmerman, who operated a hedge fund which speculated in Russian bonds.[14]

In August 2005, Harvard University, Shleifer and the Department of Justice reached an agreement under which the university paid $26.5 million to settle the five-year-old lawsuit. Shleifer was also responsible for paying $2 million worth of damages, though he did not admit any wrongdoing.[10][16]


  • Boycko, Maxim; ——; Vishny, Robert (1995). Privatizing Russia. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. ISBN 978-0-262-02389-4.
  • —— (2000). Inefficient Markets: An Introduction to Behavioral Finance. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-829227-2.


  1. ^ a b Shleifer, Andrei (1986). The business cycle and the stock market (PDF) (Ph.D.). MIT. Retrieved 21 May 2017.
  2. ^ Andrei Shleifer. "The Age of Milton Friedman". Retrieved 2013-10-19.
  3. ^ "Economist Rankings at IDEAS". Retrieved 2011-09-13.
  4. ^ "Most-Cited Scientists in Economics & Business" Archived 2015-09-24 at the Wayback Machine ISI Web of Knowledge
  5. ^ a b Wedel, Janine. Shadow Elite: How the World's New Power Brokers Undermine Democracy, Government, and the Free Market. New York: Basic, 2009.
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-08-27. Retrieved 2016-05-09.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ The Harvard Crimson: "Was Shleifer Screwed? - Sure, he had to pay a $2 million settlement—but he also got mad loot from Harvard" By Zachary M. Seward September 29, 2005
  8. ^ a b Bhayani, Paras D. (June 4, 2007). "Andrei Shleifer and J. Bradford DeLong". Harvard Crimson. Retrieved 2009-03-12.
  9. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-01-08. Retrieved 2014-01-08.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ a b Bombardieri, Marcella (2006-10-14). "Harvard professor loses honorary title in ethics violation". Boston Globe.
  11. ^ Paul Krugman. "The Fall and Rise of Development Economics". Retrieved 2013-10-19.
  12. ^ "Andrei Shleifer, Clark medal citation" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-05-30. Retrieved 2013-10-19.
  13. ^ "How Harvard lost Russia". Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-05-06.
  14. ^ a b "How Harvard Lost Russia". Institutional Investor. February 27, 2006. Archived from the original on July 5, 2014. Retrieved May 28, 2016.
  15. ^ "Who Taught Crony Capitalism to Russia?". The Wall Street Journal Europe. March 19, 2001. Retrieved 2011-11-11.
  16. ^

External links

David Daokui Li

David Daokui Li (Chinese: 李稻葵; pinyin: Lǐ Dàokúi; born 1963) is the Mansfield Freeman Professor of Economics and Director of the Center for China in the World Economy (CCWE) at Tsinghua University's School of Economics and Management (SEM). He teaches courses on economic transition, corporate finance, international economics, and China's economy. In 2013, he was appointed director of the Schwarzman Scholars program at Tsinghua.Li Daokui is a part of an academic trio that replaced Fan Gang to the Monetary Policy Committee of the People's Bank of China (PBOC), China's central bank.His childhood was spent in Sichuan province, as a result of his parents being displaced to the countryside during the Cultural Revolution. He currently lives in Beijing with his wife and two children. He is a member of the 1985 inaugural class of Tsinghua's SEM, and studied abroad immediately following his graduation. A student of economic-transition scholars Eric Maskin, Andrei Shleifer, and János Kornai, Li received his Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard University in 1992. His current research interests are China's macroeconomy, economic development models, international comparisons of economic growth, and China's need to pursue a development pattern fitting with its large economic status.

He has also held the following positions: Visiting Scholar at the Center for International Development (CID) of the Harvard Kennedy School (1986), Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, Research Fellow at Hoover Institute of the Stanford University, and Professor and Deputy Director of the Economic Development Research Center of Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

Li has also served as the editor for the Journal of Comparative Economics (2000–2003) and the Economics Bulletin, as well as being named an honorary professor at Sichuan University and Nankai University. He returned to China in 2004 to teach at his alma mater, Tsinghua, and to serve as head of the Center for China in the World Economy research center.

Ease of doing business index

The ease of doing business index is an index created by Simeon Djankov at the World Bank Group. The academic research for the report was done jointly with professors Oliver Hart and Andrei Shleifer. Higher rankings (a low numerical value) indicate better, usually simpler, regulations for businesses and stronger protections of property rights. Empirical research funded by the World Bank to justify their work show that the economic growth impact of improving these regulations is strong."Empirical research is needed to establish the optimal level of business regulation—for example, what the duration of court procedures should be and what the optimal degree of social protection is. The indicators compiled in the Doing Business project allow such research to take place. Since the start of the project in November 2001, more than 3,000 academic papers have used one or more indicators constructed in Doing Business and the related background papers by its authors."

Harvard Institute for International Development

The Harvard Institute for International Development (HIID) was a think-tank dedicated to helping nations join the global economy, operating between 1974 and 2000. It was a center within Harvard University, United States.

J. Bradford DeLong

James Bradford "Brad" DeLong (born June 24, 1960) is an economic historian who is professor of Economics at the University of California, Berkeley. DeLong served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Treasury in the Clinton Administration under Lawrence Summers.

He is an active blogger whose "Grasping Reality with Both Invisible Hands" covers political and economic issues as well as criticism of their media coverage. According to the 2019 ranking of economists by Research Papers in Economics, DeLong is the 746th most influential economist.

Jensen Prize

The Jensen Prize is an annual prize given to authors with the best corporate finance and organizations research papers published in the Journal of Financial Economics. The award is named after Michael Jensen, a co-founding advisory editor of the journal.

Lawrence Summers

Lawrence Henry Summers (born November 30, 1954) is an American economist, former Vice President of Development Economics and Chief Economist of the World Bank (1991–93), senior U.S. Treasury Department official throughout President Clinton's administration (ultimately Treasury Secretary, 1999–2001), and former director of the National Economic Council for President Obama (2009–2010). He is a former president of Harvard University (2001–2006), where he is currently (as of March, 2017) a professor and director of the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.Born in New Haven, Connecticut, Summers became a professor of economics at Harvard University in 1983. He left Harvard in 1991, working as the Chief Economist at the World Bank from 1991 to 1993. In 1993, Summers was appointed Undersecretary for International Affairs of the United States Department of the Treasury under the Clinton Administration. In 1995, he was promoted to Deputy Secretary of the Treasury under his long-time political mentor Robert Rubin. In 1999, he succeeded Rubin as Secretary of the Treasury. While working for the Clinton administration Summers played a leading role in the American response to the 1994 economic crisis in Mexico, the 1997 Asian financial crisis, and the Russian financial crisis. He was also influential in the Harvard Institute for International Development and American-advised privatization of the economies of the post-Soviet states, and in the deregulation of the U.S financial system, including the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act.

Following the end of Clinton's term, Summers served as the 27th President of Harvard University from 2001 to 2006. Summers resigned as Harvard's president in the wake of a no-confidence vote by Harvard faculty, which resulted in large part from Summers's conflict with Cornel West, financial conflict of interest questions regarding his relationship with Andrei Shleifer, and a 2005 speech in which he suggested that the under-representation of women in science and engineering could be due to a "different availability of aptitude at the high end", and less to patterns of discrimination and socialization. Remarking upon political correctness in institutions of higher education, Summers said in 2016:

There is a great deal of absurd political correctness. Now, I'm somebody who believes very strongly in diversity, who resists racism in all of its many incarnations, who thinks that there is a great deal that's unjust in American society that needs to be combated, but it seems to be that there is a kind of creeping totalitarianism in terms of what kind of ideas are acceptable and are debatable on college campuses.

After his departure from Harvard, Summers worked as a managing partner at the hedge fund D. E. Shaw & Co., and as a freelance speaker at other financial institutions, including Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Merrill Lynch and Lehman Brothers. Summers rejoined public service during the Obama administration, serving as the Director of the White House United States National Economic Council for President Barack Obama from January 2009 until November 2010, where he emerged as a key economic decision-maker in the Obama administration's response to the Great Recession. After his departure from the NEC in December 2010, Summers has worked in the private sector and as a columnist in major newspapers. In mid-2013, his name was widely floated as the potential successor to Ben Bernanke as the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, though Obama eventually nominated Federal Reserve Vice-Chairwoman Janet Yellen for the position. As of 2017, Summers retains his Harvard University status as former president emeritus and Charles W. Eliot University Professor.

Legal origins theory

The legal origins theory claims that the two main legal traditions or origins, civil law and common law, crucially shape lawmaking and dispute adjudication and have not been reformed after the initial exogenous transplantation by Europeans. Therefore, they affect economic outcomes to date. According to the evidence reported by the initial proponents of such a theory, countries that received civil law would display today less secure investor rights, stricter regulation, and more inefficient governments and courts than those that inherited common law. These differences would reflect both a stronger historical emphasis of common law on private ordering and the higher adaptability of judge-made law. Recent contributions however have criticized the idea that transplanted legal institutions remained intact and have documented that indeed they evolve moved by how each country solves the trade-off between the uncertainty of judge-made law and the bias possibly injected into civil law by inefficient political institutions. Crucially, these latest studies show that considering both the endogeneity between legal traditions and the economy and the evolution of legal systems over time implies that civil law can often economically dominate common law.


Leximetrics is a field which attempts to rank the strength or weaknesses of laws, by assigning a numerical value to each type of law in a particular field. The law's numbers are then used to compare the efficacy of different legal systems, and how these numbers correlate with particular goals such as economic growth or employment.

Math 55

Math 55 is a two-semester long first-year undergraduate mathematics course at Harvard University, founded by Lynn Loomis and Shlomo Sternberg. The official titles of the course are Honors Abstract Algebra (Math 55a) and Honors Real and Complex Analysis (Math 55b). Previously, the official title was Honors Advanced Calculus and Linear Algebra.

Nancy Zimmerman

Nancy Zimmerman (born 1963/64) is an American hedge fund manager. She is the co-founder of Bracebridge Capital, a Boston-based hedge funds with over $10 billion of assets under management as of February 2016. She was involved in the Harvard Institute for International Development's 1997 Russian scandal, for which she reimbursed $1.5 million to the United States federal government. She manages investments for the endowments of Yale University and Princeton University.

Pavlina R. Tcherneva

Pavlina R. Tcherneva is an American economist, of Bulgarian descent, working as associate professor and director of the Economics program at Bard College. She is also a research associate at the Levy Economics Institute and expert at the Institute for New Economic Thinking.

Privatization in Russia

Privatization in Russia describes the series of post-Soviet reforms that resulted in large-scale privatization of Russia's state-owned assets, particularly in the industrial, energy, and financial sectors. Most privatization took place in the early and mid-1990s under Boris Yeltsin, who assumed the presidency following the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

Private ownership of enterprises and property had essentially remained illegal throughout the Soviet era, with Soviet communism emphasizing national control over all means of production but human labor. Under the Soviet Union, the number of state enterprises was estimated at 45,000.In the later years of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev relaxed restrictions on private property and introduced initial market reforms. Privatization shifted Russia from the Soviet planned economy towards a market economy, and resulted in a dramatic rise in the level of economic inequality and a collapse in GDP and industrial output.Privatization facilitated the transfer of significant wealth to a relatively small group of business oligarchs and New Russians, particularly natural gas and oil executives. This economic transition has been described as katastroika (combination of catastrophe and the term perestroika) and as "the most cataclysmic peacetime economic collapse of an industrial country in history".A few "strategic" assets, including much of the Russian defense industry, were not privatized during the 1990s. The mass privatization of this era remains a highly contentious issue in Russian society, with many Russians calling for revision or reversal of the reforms.

Quarterly Journal of Economics

The Quarterly Journal of Economics is a peer-reviewed academic journal published by the Oxford University Press. Its current editors-in-chief are Pol Antràs, Robert J. Barro, Lawrence F. Katz, and Andrei Shleifer (Harvard University). It is the oldest professional journal of economics in the English language,

and covers all aspects of the field—from the journal's traditional emphasis on microtheory, to both empirical and theoretical macroeconomics. According to the Journal Citation Reports, the journal has a 2015 impact factor of 6.662, ranking it first out of 347 journals in the category "Economics".Some of the most influential and well-read papers in economics have been published in the Quarterly Journal of Economics, including:

"Distribution as Determined by a Law of Rent" (1891), by John B. Clark

"The Positive Theory of Capital and Its Critics" (1895), by Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk

"Petty's Place in the History of Economic Theory" (1900), by Charles Henry Hull

"Fallacies in the Interpretation of Social Cost" (1924), by Frank H. Knight

"The General Theory of Employment" (1937), by John Maynard Keynes (an expansion on Keynes' General Theory)

"The Interpretation of Voting in the Allocation of Economic Resources" (1943), by Howard Rothmann Bowen

"A Contribution to the Theory of Economic Growth" (1956), by Robert Solow

"The Market for "Lemons": Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism" (1970), by George Akerlof

"Job Market Signaling" (1973), by Michael Spence

"Equilibrium in Competitive Insurance Markets: The economics of markets with imperfect information" (1976), by Michael Rothschild and Joseph Stiglitz

"A Reformulation of the Economic Theory of Fertility" (1988), by Robert Barro and Gary Becker

"A Theory of Competition among Pressure Groups for Political Influence" (1983), by Gary Becker

"A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth" (1992), by N. Gregory Mankiw, David Romer, and David N. Weil

"Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting" (1997), by David Laibson

"Does Social Capital Have An Economic Payoff? A Cross-Country Investigation" (1997) by Stephen Knack and Philip Keefer

"A Theory of Fairness, Competition, and Cooperation" (1999), by Ernst Fehr and Klaus M. Schmidt

"Monetary Policy Rules And Macroeconomic Stability: Evidence And Some Theory" (2000), by Richard Clarida, Jordi Galí, and Mark Gertler

"Information Technology, Workplace Organization, and the Demand for Skilled Labor: Firm-Level Evidence" (2002) by Timothy F. Bresnahan, Erik Brynjolfsson and Lorin M. Hitt

Research Papers in Economics

Research Papers in Economics (RePEc) is a collaborative effort of hundreds of volunteers in many countries to enhance the dissemination of research in economics. The heart of the project is a decentralized database of working papers, preprints, journal articles, and software components. The project started in 1997. Its precursor NetEc dates back to 1993.

Robert W. Vishny

Robert Ward Vishny (born c. 1959) is an American economist and is the Myron S. Scholes Distinguished Service Professor of Finance at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. He was the Eric J. Gleacher Distinguished Service Professor of Finance at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.


Shleifer is a form of the German surname Schleifer. Notable people with this surname include:

Andrei Shleifer (born 1961), Russian American economist

Shlomo Shleifer (1889 —1957), Rabbi from Moscow

Simeon Djankov

Simeon Djankov (Bulgarian: Симеон Дянков, Simeon Dyankov; born 13 July 1970) is a Bulgarian economist. From 2009 to 2013, he was the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of Bulgaria in the government of Boyko Borisov. Prior to his cabinet appointment, Simeon Djankov was a Chief economist of the finance and private sector vice-presidency of the World Bank. He was an associate editor of the Journal of Comparative Economics from 2004 to 2009. Djankov was a chairman of the board of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

In 2013 he was appointed rector of the New Economic School in Moscow. He is also a member of the World Bank's Knowledge and Advisory Council, and a Senior Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. Since November 2015, Dr Djankov is policy director of the Financial Markets Group at the London School of Economics.

Simeon Djankov is listed as the most-published Bulgarian economist.

Starting a Business Index

The Starting a Business Index is a sub-index of the World Bank Ease of Doing Business Index.

Victoria Chick

Victoria Chick (born 1936) is a Post Keynesian economist who is best known for her contributions to the understanding of Keynes's General Theory and to the establishment of Post Keynesian economics in the UK and elsewhere.

New Keynesians

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