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Oliver Simon D'Arcy Hart (born October 9, 1948) is a
British British may refer to: Peoples, culture, and language * British people The British people, or Britons, are the citizens of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ir ...

British
-born
American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, from, or related to the United States of America, commonly known as the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is ...

American
economist, currently the Lewis P. and Linda L. Geyser University Professor at
Harvard University Harvard University is a private Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private "In Private" was the third single in a row to be a charting success for United Kingdom, British singer Dusty Springfield, after an absence of nearly t ...

Harvard University
. Together with Bengt R. Holmström, he received the
Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences The Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, officially the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel ( sv, Sveriges riksbanks pris i ekonomisk vetenskap till Alfred Nobels minne), is an economics award administered ...
in 2016.


Biography

Oliver Hart was born in Britain to Philip D'Arcy Hart, a medical researcher, and Ruth Meyer, a gynecologist. Both his parents were
Jewish Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים ISO 259-2 , Israeli pronunciation ) or Jewish people are an ethnoreligious group and nation originating from the Israelites Israelite origins and kingdom: "The first act in the long drama of Jewish history is ...

Jewish
; his father was a member of the Montagu family; Oliver's great-grandfather was
Samuel Montagu, 1st Baron Swaythling File:1st Baron Swaythling.png, 150px, Samuel Montagu, by Liborio Prosperi, 1886. Samuel Montagu, 1st Baron Swaythling (21 December 1832 – 12 January 1911) was a United Kingdom, British banker who founded the bank of Samuel Montagu & Co. He was a ...
. Hart earned his B.A. in mathematics at
King's College, Cambridge King's College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge in Cambridge Cambridge ( ) is a College town, university city and the county town of Cambridgeshire, England, on the River Cam approximately north of London. At the Un ...

King's College, Cambridge
, in 1969 (where his contemporaries included the former
Bank of England The Bank of England is the central bank of the United Kingdom and the model on which most modern central banks have been based. Established in 1694 to act as the Kingdom of England, English Government's banker, and still one of the bankers for t ...

Bank of England
Governor
Mervyn KingMervyn King may refer to: *Mervyn King, Baron King of Lothbury (born 1948), British economist, former governor of the Bank of England *Mervyn King (judge) (born 1937), former judge of the Supreme Court of South Africa and chairman of the King Commit ...
), his M.A. in economics at the
University of Warwick , mottoeng = Mind moves matter , established = , type = Public In public relations Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing and disseminating information from an individual or an or ...
in 1972, and his Ph.D. in economics at
Princeton University Princeton University is a private Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private "In Private" was the third single in a row to be a charting success for United Kingdom, British singer Dusty Springfield, after an absence of nearly tw ...

Princeton University
in 1974. He completed his doctoral dissertation, titled "Essays in the economics of uncertainty", under the supervision of Michael Rothschild. He was a Lecturer in Economics at
University of Essex The University of Essex is a public In public relations Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing and disseminating information from an individual or an organization An organization, or organisation (English in the Co ...

University of Essex
, a fellow at
Churchill College, Cambridge Churchill College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge, England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west and Scotland to ...
, and then a professor at the
London School of Economics , mottoeng = To understand the causes of things , established = 1895 , type = Public In public relations Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing and disseminating information from an individual or an organization ...
. In 1984, he returned to the U.S., where he taught at the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is a private Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private "In Private" was the third single in a row to be a charting success for United Kingdom, British singer Dusty Springfield, aft ...
and, since 1993, at
Harvard University Harvard University is a private Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private "In Private" was the third single in a row to be a charting success for United Kingdom, British singer Dusty Springfield, after an absence of nearly t ...

Harvard University
. He became the first Andrew E. Furer Professor of Economics in 1997 and was chairman of the Harvard economics department from 2000 to 2003. He is a fellow of the
American Academy of Arts and Sciences The American Academy of Arts and Sciences, founded 1780, (abbreviation: AAAS) is one of the oldest learned societies A learned society (; also known as a learned academy, scholarly society, or academic association) is an organization ...

American Academy of Arts and Sciences
, of the
Econometric Society The Econometric Society is an international society of academic economists interested in applying statistical tools to their field. It is an independent organization with no connections to societies of professional mathematicians or statisticians. ...
, of the
American Finance Association The American Finance Association (AFA) is an academic organization whose focus is the study and promotion of knowledge of financial economics. It was formed in 1939. Its main publication, the ''Journal of Finance ''The Journal of Finance'' is a pe ...
, a corresponding fellow of the
British Academy The British Academy is the United Kingdom's national academy#REDIRECT National academy A national academy is an organizational body, usually operating with state financial support and approval, that co-ordinates scholarly research Res ...
, and a member of the
National Academy of Sciences The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) is a United States nonprofit A nonprofit organization (NPO), also known as a non-business entity, not-for-profit organization, or nonprofit institution, is a legal entity organized and operated for a ...
. He has been president of the
American Law and Economics AssociationThe American Law and Economics Association (ALEA), a United States organization founded in 1991, is focused on the advancement of economic understanding of law, and related areas of public policy and regulation. It promotes research in law and econom ...
and vice president of the
American Economic Association The American Economic Association (AEA) is a learned society A learned society (; also known as a learned academy, scholarly society, or academic association) is an organization that exists to promote an discipline (academia), academic discip ...
, and has several honorary degrees. In 2016, Hart won the Nobel Prize in Economics with for their work on
contract theory In economics, contract theory studies how economic actors can and do construct contractual arrangements, generally in the presence of information asymmetry. Because of its connections with both agency (law), agency and incentives, contract theory ...
, including his work on how ownership should be allocated and when contracting is beneficial over ownership.


Academics

Hart is an expert on
contract theory In economics, contract theory studies how economic actors can and do construct contractual arrangements, generally in the presence of information asymmetry. Because of its connections with both agency (law), agency and incentives, contract theory ...

contract theory
,
theory of the firm The theory of the firm consists of a number of economic theories Economics () is a social science Social science is the branch A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany Botany, also called , p ...
,
corporate finance Corporate finance is the area of finance Finance is the study of financial institutions, financial markets and how they operate within the financial system. It is concerned with the creation and management of money and investments. Savers a ...
, and
law and economics Law and economics or economic analysis of law is the application of economic An economy (; ) is an area of the production Production may be: Economics and business * Production (economics) * Production, the act of manufacturing goods * Prod ...
. His research centers on the roles that ownership structure and contractual arrangements play in the governance and boundaries of corporations. His research has emphasized the importance of contractual incompleteness — the inability of parties to contract on every contingency. 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.) where companies claimed tax related benefits as a result from selling some of their business. The government used Hart's research to claim that because the companies retained control of the sold assets, they could not lay claim to the tax benefits.


Personal life

Hart is an American citizen. 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''. They have two sons and two grandsons.


Books

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


Selected articles

*"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 The principal–agent problem, in political science Political science is the scientific study of politics Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions In psychology, decision-making (also sp ...
" (with Sanford J. Grossman), ''
Econometrica ''Econometrica'' is a Peer review, peer-reviewed academic journal of economics, publishing article (publishing), articles in many areas of economics, especially econometrics. It is published by Wiley-Blackwell on behalf of the Econometric Society. ...
'' (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 John Halstead Hardman Moore CBE FBA FRSE Fellowship of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (FRSE) is an award granted to individuals that the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Scotland's national academy of science and Literature, letters, judged to be ...
), ''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 Andrei Shleifer ( ; born February 20, 1961) is a Russian-American Russian Americans ( rus, ру́сские америка́нцы, links= y, r= rússkiye amerikántsy, p= ˈruskʲɪje ɐmʲɪrʲɪˈkant͡sɨ) are Americans Americans are t ...

Andrei Shleifer
and Robert W. Vishny), ''
Quarterly Journal of Economics ''The Quarterly Journal of Economics'' is a peer-reviewed Peer review is the evaluation of work by one or more people with similar competencies as the producers of the work ( peers). It functions as a form of self-regulation by qualified me ...
'' 112(4) (1997) 1126–61. * "Contracts as Reference Points" (with John Hardman Moore), Quarterly Journal of Economics, February 2008,1–48.


Notes


References


External links


Oliver Hart's home page at Harvard
* including the Prize Lecture ''Incomplete Contracts and Control'' , - {{DEFAULTSORT:Hart, Oliver 1948 births
Living people Related categories * :Year of birth missing (living people) / :Year of birth unknown * :Date of birth missing (living people) / :Date of birth unknown * :Place of birth missing (living people) / :Place of birth unknown * :Year of death mi ...
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Corresponding Fellows of the British Academy Academics from London Nancy L. Schwartz Memorial Lecture speakers