Oliver Hart

Andrew E. Furer Professor of Economics, 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, corporate finance, and corporate governance. He is affiliated with the Program on Corporate Governance at Harvard Law School's John M. Olin Center for Law, Economics, and Business, and is a past president of the American Law and Economics Association.

Professor Hart's research centers on the roles that ownership structure and contractual arrangements play in the governance and boundaries of corporations. He also researches bankruptcy proceedings and bankruptcy reform, with a focus on how to mitigate wasteful conflicts of interest that can arise among different claimant groups. Professor Hart has consulted and provided expert testimony on tax disputes in which he has evaluated the business purpose and economic substance of special purpose entities. He has also provided professional guidance on damages and the broader economic consequences associated with breaches of contract.

Professor Hart's book Firms, Contracts, and Financial Structure is a leading reference in the field. Widely published in peer-reviewed journals, he also has contributed to the Financial Times and The Wall Street Journal. In 2016, Professor Hart was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics, along with Dr. Bengt Holmström, for their work in contract theory.

AG Contacts

T. Christopher Borek