Oliver Hart

Lewis P. and Linda L. Geyser University Professor, Harvard University
Oliver Hart


Ph.D., economics, Princeton University; M.A., economics, Warwick University; B.A., mathematics, University of Cambridge

Summary of Experience

Professor Hart is a leading expert in contract theory, the theory of the firm, and corporate finance. In 2016, he and Professor Bengt Holmström were awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics for their work in contract theory. Professor Hart’s research centers on the roles that ownership structure and contractual arrangements play in the governance and boundaries of corporations. His recent work involves determining how parties can write better contracts, as well as how a new model of corporate governance can better incorporate the importance shareholders place on nonfinancial criteria.

Professor Hart has consulted to businesses and government entities, and provided expert testimony on contract and governance disputes in which he has evaluated the business purpose and economic substance of special purpose entities. As an expert on behalf of Qualcomm in Apple v. Qualcomm, he provided guidance on the optimal structure of contracts, and why and when they should be enforced. His book Firms, Contracts, and Financial Structure is a leading work in the fields of contract theory and corporate finance. He has published widely in peer-reviewed journals and contributed to the Financial Times and The Wall Street Journal. Professor Hart is a member of the IGM (Initiative on Global Markets) Economics Experts Panel of The University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and is affiliated with the Program on Corporate Governance at Harvard Law School’s John M. Olin Center for Law, Economics, and Business. He is a past president of the American Law and Economics Association.

AG Contacts

T. Christopher Borek