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Professor Michael Jensen

Jesse Isidor Straus Professor of Business Administration, Emeritus
Graduate School of Business Administration, Harvard University
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Michael Jensen, Jesse Isidor Straus Professor of Business Administration, Emeritus, Graduate School of Business Administration, Harvard University
ECGI Fellow (2002) :

Biography    

Michael C. Jensen, Jesse Isidor Straus Professor of Business Administration, Emeritus, joined the faculty of the Harvard Business School in 1985. He joined the Monitor Company in 1999 as Managing Director of the Organizational Strategy Practice. He was LaClare Professor of Finance and Business Administration at the William E. Simon Graduate School of Business Administration, University of Rochester, from 1984-1988, Professor from 1979-1984, Associate Professor from 1971-1979, and Assistant Professor from 1967-1971. He founded the Managerial Economics Research Center at the University of Rochester in 1977 and served as its Director until 1988.

Professor Jensen earned his Ph.D. in Economics, Finance, and Accounting and his M.B.A. in Finance from the University of Chicago and an A.B. degree from Macalester College. He was awarded the honorary degree, Docteur Honoris Causa, by Universite Catholique de Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium, July, 1991 as well as by the University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland, December 2000. In June of 2001, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree by the William E. Simon Graduate School of Business Administration, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY. He served as a Visiting Scholar at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College from July 2001 to June 2002. In 2002 he was named a Fellow of the European Corporate Governance Institure (ECGI).

Professor Jensen is the author of more than 50 scientific papers, in addition to numerous articles, comments, and editorials published in the popular media on a wide range of economic, finance and business-related topics. He is author of Foundations of Organizational Strategy (Harvard University Press, 1998), and Theory of the Firm: Governance, Residual Claims, and Organizational Forms (Harvard University Press, 2000). He is editor of The Modern Theory of Corporate Finance (with Clifford W. Smith, Jr., McGraw-Hill, 1984) and Studies in the Theory of Capital Markets (Praeger Publishers, 1972). He founded the Journal of Financial Economics, one of the top two scientific journals in financial economics, in 1973, serving as Managing Editor from 1987 to 1997, when he became Founding Editor. From 1992 through 1998 he served on the steering committee of the Mind Brain Behavior Initiative at Harvard University (a Harvard interfaculty effort to bring together a wide range of scholars interested in understanding the limitations of the human brain and its role in generating counter-productive human behavior). In 1994 he co-founded and is Chairman of Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. which is devoted to the electronic publication of scientific work.

Dr. Jensen was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1996. In 1990, he was named "Scholar of the Year" by the Eastern Finance Association and one of the "Year's 25 Most Fascinating Business People" by Fortune magazine. He received a 1989 McKinsey Award for his paper "Eclipse of the Public Corporation," and was awarded the Joseph Coolidge Shaw, S.J. Medal by Boston College in 1984. Dr. Jensen was also awarded (with William Meckling) the Graham and Dodd Plaque given by the Financial Analysts Federation in May, 1979 for their paper "Can the Corporation Survive?" Dr. Jensen and his co-author, William Meckling, received the first Leo Melamed Prize for outstanding scholarship by business school teachers from the University of Chicago's Graduate School of Business in March, 1979 for their paper, "Theory of the Firm: Managerial Behavior, Agency Costs, and Ownership Structure." In 1984, this paper was identified as one of the most cited items in its field and named a Citation Classic by the Institute for Scientific Information.

Dr. Jensen has served as consultant to various corporations, foundations and governmental agencies and has given expert testimony before congressional and state committees and state and federal courts. He has lectured widely at seminars, meetings, conventions and educational institutions. He is Past President of the American Finance Association and the Western Economic Association International.


Research Interests
Coordination, control and the management of organisations
Organisational change

ECGI Working Papers (Click title for more details)
Putting Integrity into Finance: A Purely Positive Approach ECGI Finance Working Paper 417/2014 April 2014
Remuneration: Where We've Been, How We Got to Here, What are the Problems, and How to Fix Them ECGI Finance Working Paper 044/2004 July 2004
Agency Costs of Overvalued Equity ECGI Finance Working Paper 039/2004 April 2004

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