Benjamin Jones
Benjamin F. Jones

Gordon and Llura Gund Family Professor of Entrepreneurship
Professor of Strategy
Faculty Director, Kellogg Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative (KIEI)

Print Overview

Benjamin F. Jones is the Gordon and Llura Gund Family Professor of Entrepreneurship, a Professor of Strategy, and the faculty director of the Kellogg Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative. An economist by training, his research focuses largely on innovation and creativity, with recent work investigating the role of teamwork in innovation and the relationship between age and invention. Professor Jones also studies global economic development, including the roles of education, climate, and national leadership in explaining the wealth and poverty of nations. His research has appeared in journals such as Science, the Quarterly Journal of Economics and the American Economic Review, and has been profiled in media outlets such as the Wall Street Journal, the Economist, and The New Yorker.

A former Rhodes Scholar, Professor Jones served in 2010-2011 as the senior economist for macroeconomics for the White House Council of Economic Advisers, and earlier served in the U.S. Department of the Treasury. In 2011, he was awarded the Stanley Reiter Best Paper Award for the best academic article written by a Kellogg faculty member in the prior four years.

Areas of Expertise
Development Economics
Economic Growth
Emerging Markets
International Business
International Economics
Print Vita
PhD, 2003, Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
MPhil, 1997, Economics, Oxford University
BSE, 1995, Aerospace Engineering, Princeton University, Summa Cum Laude

Academic Positions
Associate Professor, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 2007-present
Associate Professor, Weinberg College of Arts of Sciences, Northwestern University, 2005-present
Faculty Affiliate, Center for International and Comparative Studies, Northwestern University, 2005-present
Faculty Research Fellow, Center for International Economics and Development, Northwestern University, 2005-present
Faculty Research Fellow, National Bureau of Economic Research, 2005-present
Assistant Professor, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 2003-2007
Special Assistant to Deputy Secrety Lawrence H. Summers, U.S. Department of the Treasury, 1997-1998
Lecturer, Kazakhstan Institute for Management and Economic Progress, 1996-1997

Grants and Awards
Stanley Reiter Best Paper Award, Kellogg School of Management, 2011
Benjamin F. Jones
Age and Great Invention.
Review of Economics and Statistics, 2010, 92(1): 1-14.
Read the press releaseRead the Kellogg Insight article
Finalist, L.G. Lavengood Professor of the Year Award, Kellogg School of Management, 2008
Excellence in Refereeing Award, American Economic Review, 2009

Editorial Positions
Associate Editor, Journal of Development Economics, 2010-Present

Print Research
Research Interests
Economic growth; development economics; technology and innovation

Jones, Benjamin F, Satyam Mukerjee, Michael Stringer and. 2013. Atypical Combinations and Scientific Impact. Science.
Lu, Susan, Ginger Jin, and Benjamin F Jones. 2013. The Retraction Penalty: Evidence from the Web of Science. Nature Scientific Reports. 3(3146): DOI: 10.1038/srep03146.
Jones, Benjamin F. 2012. Harnessing Technology to Improve K-12 Education. Hamilton Project Discussion Paper, Brookings Institution.
Dell, Melissa, Benjamin F Jones and Benjamin Olken. 2012. Climate Change and Economic Growth: Evidence from the Last Half Century. American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics. 4(3): 66-95.
Jones, Benjamin F. 2011. Age Dynamics in Scientific Creativity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 108(47): 18855-19096.
Jones, Benjamin F and Benjamin Olken. 2010. Climate Shocks and Exports. American Economic Review: Papers and Proceedings. 100(2): 454-459.
Jones, Benjamin F. 2010. Age and Great Invention. Review of Economics and Statistics. 92(1): 1-14.
Jones, Benjamin F and Benjamin Olken. 2009. Hit or Miss?: The Effect of Assassinations on Institutions and War. American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics. 1(2): 55-87.
Jones, Benjamin F, Melissa Dell and Benjamin Olken. 2009. Temperature and Income: Reconciling New Cross-Sectional and Panel Estimates. American Economic Review Papers & Proceedings. 99(2): 198-204.
Jones, Benjamin F, and Stefan Wuchty. 2008. Multi-University Research Teams: Shifting Impact, Geography and Social Stratification in Science. Science. 322: 1259-1262.
Jones, Benjamin F and Benjamin Olken. 2008. The Anatomy of Start-Stop Growth. Review of Economics and Statistics. 90(3): 582-587.
Wuchty, Stefan, Benjamin F Jones and. 2007. The Increasing Dominance of Teams in the Production of Knowledge. Science. 316(5827): 1036-1039.
Jones, Benjamin F. 2009. The Burden of Knowledge and the Death of the Renaissance Man: Is Innovation Getting Harder?. Review of Economic Studies. 76(1)
Wuchty, Stefan, Benjamin F Jones and. 2007. Why Do Team Authored Papers Get Cited More?. Science (Letters). 317(5844): 1496-1498.
Jones, Benjamin F and Benjamin Olken. 2005. Do Leaders Matter? National Leadership and Growth Since WWII. Quarterly Journal of Economics. 120(3): 835-864.
Working Papers
Jones, Benjamin F and David Dollar. 2013. China: An Institutional View of an Unusual Macroeconomy.
Jones, Benjamin F, Melissa Dell and Benjamin Olken. 2013. What Do We Learn from the Weather? The New Temperature-Economy Literature.
Jones, Benjamin F and Adam Jaffe. 2013. The Changing Frontier: Rethinking Science and Innovation Policy.
Jones, Benjamin F, E J Reedy and Bruce Weinberg. 2013. Age and Scientific Genius.
Jones, Benjamin F and Hans Hvide. 2013. Taxes and Entrepreneurship.
Jones, Benjamin F and. 2013. The International Diffusion of Knowledge.
Jones, Benjamin F. 2013. The Human Capital Stock: A Generalized Approach.
Jones, Benjamin F. 2008. The Knowledge Trap: Human Capital and Development, Reconsidered.
Jones, Benjamin F, Susan Lu and. 2014. The Reverse Matthew Effect: Reputation and Credit in Scientific Teams.
Book Chapters
Jones, Benjamin F. 2012. "Generality, Recombination, and Re-Use." In The Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity Revisited, edited by Josh Lerner and Scott Stern, 656-661. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Jones, Benjamin F. 2010. "As Science Evolves, How Can Science Policy?." In NBER Book Series Innovation Policy and the Economy 11, edited by Josh Lerner and Scott Stern, 103-131. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Jones, Benjamin F. 2009. "National Leadership and Economic Growth." In The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, Online Edition, edited by Steven N. Durlauf and Lawrence E. Blume, New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.
Jones, Benjamin F. "Mobile Telecommunications: Two Entrepreneurs Enter Africa.".
Jones, Benjamin F and Benjamin Olken. "Does Climate Change Affect Economic Growth?." Centre for Economic Policy Research.
Jones, Benjamin F and Daniel Campbell. 2014. Mobile Telecommunications: Two Entrepreneurs Enter Africa. Case 5-413-758 (KEL805).

Print Teaching
Teaching Interests
Business strategy in emerging markets
The Economics of Ideas, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship (MECS-449-2)
This course begins with an introduction to the economics of ideas and uses the economics of ideas to evaluate the origins of invention and discovery, innovation, and the diffusion of new technology. The course focuses on (a) the micro-foundations of the knowledge production function (including the role of creativity and the impact of Science), (b) the impact of institutions and strategic interaction on the commercialization of new technology, and (c) the diffusion and welfare impact of ideas and technology, including at the aggregate level. The course emphasizes how the unusual characteristics of ideas can result in social inefficiency, and how the microeconomic and institutional environment influences the gap between private and social welfare. The course includes a mixture (and explicit comparisons of) both theoretical and empirical research. The course forms a sequence with Economics of Innovation 449-1, but MECS 449-1 is not a pre-requisite to register for this course.

Full-Time / Part-Time MBA
International Business Strategy in Non-Market Environments (MGMT-466-0)

This course counts toward the following majors: International Business, Management & Strategy, Social Enterprise.

Formerly INTL-466-0

International markets present unique opportunities and pitfalls for business growth and development. This course outlines fundamental differences among developed and developing countries, starting briefly with broad historical differences and moving on to specific issues such as the protection of property rights, corruption and the effects of political institutions. The role of international institutions such as the IMF and World Trade Organization also are discussed. The results from cutting-edge economic research are complemented by business examples to provide the international business manager with a broad, fact-based perspective on international markets today.

Executive MBA
Strategic Challenges in Emerging Markets (MGMTX-468-0)
Globalization presents unique opportunities and challenges for business growth and development. Whether a firm seeks new markets for its products, low-cost production opportunities, or high-yield investment vehicles, many of the most attractive opportunities internationally lie in "emerging markets", such as China, India, Russia, and Brazil. At the same time, these national environments present special risks and challenges. This course provides toolkits and frameworks to successfully confront these challenges. The course will integrate numerous business examples with insights from the latest economics, business strategy, and political science research to provide the international business manager with a cutting-edge, integrated perspective on globalization and a set of strategic solutions to manage the most prevalent business risks in emerging markets.