Michael Powell
Michael Powell

Assistant Professor of Strategy

Print Overview

Michael Powell received his PhD in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2011. He is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Strategy. Prior to coming to Kellogg, he was a Postdoctoral Fellow of Applied Economics at the Sloan School of Management at MIT. Professor Powell's research interests include organizational economics and industrial organization. His research has focused on understanding how firms are organized and how their organization interacts with market equilibrium. His work has been published in the Quarterly Journal of Economics, Journal of Law, Economics & Organization, and American Economic Journal: Microeconomics.

Areas of Expertise
Contract Theory
Economics of Organizations
Industrial Organization

Print Vita
Ph.D, 2011, Economics, MIT
B.A., M.A., 2006, Economics, UCLA
A.A., 2003, Liberal Arts, West Valley College

Academic Positions
Assistant Professor of Management and Strategy, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 2013-present
Donald P. Jacobs Scholar & Assistant Professor of Management & Strategy, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 2012-2013
Postdoctoral Fellow in Applied Economics, Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2011-2012

Other Professional Experience
Program committee: NBER Organizational Economics (2009, 2011), 2009-2011
Referee for: American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, Journal of Economics and Management Strategy, Journal of Labor Economics, Journal of Law and Economics, Journal of Public Economics

Honors and Awards
National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, 2007-2011
MIT Presidential Fellowship, 2006-2008
UCLA Departmental Scholar in Economics, 2004-2006

Print Research
Powell, MichaelNiko Matouschek and Jin Li. Forthcoming. Power Dynamics in Organizations. American Economic Journal: Microeconomics.
Powell, Michael. 2015. An Influence-Cost Model of Organizational Practices and Firm Boundaries. Journal of Law, Economics, & Organization. 31(Suppl 1): i104-i1142.
Gibbons, Robert, Richard Holden and Michael Powell. 2012. Organization and Information: Firms' Governance Choices in Rational-Expectations Equilibrium. Quarterly Journal of Economics. 127(4): 1551-1609.
Working Papers
Barron, Daniel and Michael Powell. 2016. Policies in Relational Contracts.
Frandsen, Brigham, Michael Powell and James Rebitzer. 2016. Sticking Points: Common Agency Problems and Contracting in the U.S. Healthcare System.
Powell, MichaelJin Li and Rongzhu Ke. 2016. Managing Careers in Organizations.
Powell, Michael. 2015. Productivity and Credibility in Industry Equilibrium.
Li, Jin and Michael Powell. 2015. Multilateral Cooperation Under Uncertainty.
Fehr, Ernst, Michael Powell and Tom Wilkening. 2015. Behavioral Limitations of Subgame-Perfect Implementation.

Print Teaching
The Economics of Organizations (MECS-475-0)
The aim of the course is to prepare PhD students to contribute to the growing field of organizational economics. We will read a selection of classic and new papers in the field, and include a mixture of theory and empirical papers. Topics may include: the provision of incentives in firms, careers and career concerns, promotions and human capital acquisition, delegation and authority, effects of strategic transmission of information within firms, and causes and effects of hierarchy.

Full-Time / Part-Time MBA
Strategy and Organization (STRT-452-0)
This course was formerly known as MGMT 452
This course focuses on the link between organizational structure and strategy, making heavy use of the microeconomic tools taught in MECN-430. The core question students address is how firms should be organized to achieve their performance objectives. The first part of the course takes the firm's activities as given and studies the problem of organizational design; topics may include incentive pay, decentralization, transfer pricing, and complementarities. The second part examines the determinants of a firm's boundaries and may cover such topics as outsourcing, horizontal mergers, and strategic commitment.