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.  Professor Jones is a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

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
Gund Family Professor of Entrepreneurship and Professor of Strategy, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 2014-present
Research Associate, National Bureau of Economic Research, 2012-present
Associate Professor, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 2007-2014
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 Affiliate, Center for International Economics and Development, Northwestern University, 2005-present
Faculty Research Fellow, National Bureau of Economic Research, 2005-2010
Assistant Professor, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 2003-2007
Lecturer, Kazakhstan Institute for Management and Economic Progress, 1996-1996

Other Professional Experience
Senior Economics for Macroeconomics, White House, 2010-2011
Special Assistant to the Deputy Secretary, U.S. Department of the Treasury, 1997-1998

Honors and Awards
Stanley Reiter Best Paper Award, Kellogg School of Management, 2011
Excellence in Refereeing Award, American Economic Review, 2009
Finalist, L.G. Lavengood Professor of the Year Award, Kellogg School of Management, 2008

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

Print Research
Research Interests

Economic growth; development economics; technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship.

Jones, Benjamin F.. 2014. The Human Capital Stock: A Generalized Approach. American Economic Review. 104(11)
Jones, Benjamin F., Melissa Dell and Benjamin Olken. 2014. What Do We Learn from the Weather? The New Climate-Economy Literature. Journal of Economic Literature. 52(3)
Jones, Benjamin F.. 2013. Make Randomized, Controlled Cuts. Nature. 499: 147-148.
Lu, Susan, Ginger Jin, Brian Uzzi 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., Melissa Dell and Benjamin Olken. 2012. Temperature Shocks and Economic Growth: Evidence from the Last Half Century. American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics. 4(3)
Jones, Benjamin F. and Bruce Weinberg. 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 & 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.. 2009. The Burden of Knowledge and the Death of the Renaissance Man: Is Innovation Getting Harder?. Review of Economic Studies. 76(1)
Jones, Benjamin F.Brian Uzzi 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 Brian Uzzi. 2007. The Increasing Dominance of Teams in the Production of Knowledge. Science. 316(5827): 1036-1039.
Jones, Benjamin F. and Benjamin Olken. 2005. Do Leaders Matter? National Leadership and Growth Since WWII. Quarterly Journal of Economics. 120(3): 835-864.
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.
Wuchty, Stefan, Benjamin F. Jones and Brian Uzzi. 2007. Why Do Team Authored Papers Get Cited More?. Science (Letters). 317(5844): 1496-1498.
Working Papers
Jones, Benjamin F. and Hans Hvide. 2016. University Innovation and the Professor's Privilege.
Jones, Benjamin F.Brian Uzzi, Satyam Mukherjee and Daniel Romero. 2015. Information Foraging and Scientific Advance.
Jones, Benjamin F. and David Dollar. 2014. China: An Institutional View of an Unusual Macroeconomy.
Jones, Benjamin F., Susan Lu and Brian Uzzi. 2014. The Reverse Matthew Effect: Catastrophe and Consequence in Scientific Teams.
Jones, Benjamin F.. 2014. The Knowledge Trap: Human Capital and Development, Reconsidered.
Book Chapters
Jones, Benjamin F., E.J. Reedy and Bruce Weinberg. 2014. "Age and Scientific Genius." In Handbook of Genius, 422-450.
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. and Adam Jaffe. 2015. The Changing Frontier: Science and Technology Systems in Transformation. University of Chicago Press.
Conference Proceedings
Jones, Benjamin F. and Aaron K Chatterji. 2016. "Learning What Works in Educational Technology with a Case Study of EDUSTAR." Brookings Institution.
Jones, Benjamin F. and Aaron K Chatterji. 2016. "Harnessing Technology to Improve K–12 Education." Brookings Institution.
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 (MBA).

Innovation and entrepreneurship (PhD).

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
Strategic Challenges in Emerging Markets (STRT-466-0)
This course was formerly known as MGMT 466
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.