Andrei Shleifer

Andrei Shleifer

Formal First Name
1961 - present

Andrei Shleifer is a financial and behavioral economist, prolific researcher and writer, most noted for his contributions to financial economics and development economics. Shleifer is John L. Loeb Professor of Economics at Harvard University, where he has taught since 1991. Throughout the course of his career, Shleifer has worked in the areas of comparative corporate governance, law & finance, behavioral finance, as well as institutional economics. Be it on governance, finance, or transition, his work has been important, controversial, and influential. Shleifer is frequently in the top rankings of economics, according to criteria such as the number of published works, citations, and journal pages. He was awarded the biennial John Bates Clark Medal, and RePEc/IDEAS has recognized him as the most cited economist in the world. In addition, Shleifer is an Editor of the Quarterly Journal of Economics, and a fellow of the Econometric Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Finance Association.

Professional Experience

Academic History


  • Shleifer's research emphasizes the role of legal institutions in financial development, and argues against theories of rational and efficient financial markets.

  • His work on financial economics focuses on the field of behavioral finance, financial market structure, performance, and returns on investments.

  • His primary scientific interests are in shareholder, financial economics, monetary economics, government, and market economy.

  • Shleifer’s work in development economics emphasizes the quality of legal institutions as a determining factor in financial and economic development across countries.

  • Shleifer teaches and writes that in actual financial markets, investors and financial traders are less than fully rational and are limited by risk aversion, short time horizons, and agency problems.

  • Shleifer’s research has shown that countries whose legal systems are based on common law display better investor protection, lighter government economic intervention, and more independent courts and judiciaries.

  • He has made major contributions to corporate finance (corporate governance), the economics of financial markets (deviations from efficient markets), and the economics of transition.


  • In 1991, he took an advisory role with the Russian government. helping to lead the country's economic reform after the Soviet Union collapse.

  • At Harvard, he was sought out by the US government to advise the Russian government.

  • Shleifer's involvement with both Harvard and the Russian government culminated many years later in a conflict of interest scandal.


  • A Crisis of Beliefs: Investor Psychology and Financial Fragility

  • The Failure of Judges and the Rise of Regulators

  • A Normal Country: Russia after Communism

  • Clarendon Lectures: Inefficient Markets

  • Without a Map: Political Tactics and Economic Reform in Russia

  • The Grabbing Hand

  • Privatizing Russia