David Austen-Smith
David Austen-Smith

Peter G. Peterson Chair in Corporate Ethics
Professor of Managerial Economics & Decision Sciences
Director, Ford Motor Center for Global Citizenship

Print Overview

David Austen-Smith is the Peter G. Peterson Professor of Corporate Ethics, and Professor of Political Science and Economics. He received his PhD in economics from Cambridge University in 1978. He joined the Northwestern faculty from the University of Rochester in 1996, transferring to the Kellogg School as the Earl Dean Howard Professor of Political Economy in September 2004 from the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences where he was the Ethel and John Lindgren Professor. Austen-Smith is currently teaching “Strategic Crisis Management” and “Values-Based Leadership”. He is an elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Econometric Society, and the Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory; he is also a charter member of the Game Theory Society. Austen-Smith has published widely on positive political theory, social choice and applied game theory.

Areas of Expertise
Political Economy/Design
Voting Systems

Print Vita
PhD, 1978, Economics, University of Cambridge
BS, 1974, Economics, University of Bristol, England, First Class Honors

Academic Positions
Peter G. Peterson Professor of Corporate Ethics, Northwestern University, 2006-present
Professor of Political Science and Economics, Weinberg College of Arts of Sciences, Northwestern University, 1996-present
Senior Associate Dean for Faculty and Research, Faculty and Research, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 2010-2013
Department Chair, Managerial Economics and Decision Sciences, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 2009-2010
Earl Dean Howard Distinguished Professor of Political Economy, Northwestern University, 2004-2006
Ethel and John Lindgren Professor, Northwestern University, 2000-2004
Professor of Management and Strategy (by courtesy), Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 1996-2000
Professor of Political Science, University of Rochester, 1991-1996
Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Rochester, 1984-1991
Lecturer in Economics, University of York, 1977-1984

Grants and Awards
Research Associate, Institut d'Analisi Economica, CSIC, UAB Spain, 2017, renewable every 3 years thereafter.
Elected Fellow, Econometric Society, life
Sidney J. Levy Teaching Award, Kellogg School of Business and Management, 2007-2008, 2005-2006
Economic Research Fellow, Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory, one year
Elected Council Member, Game Theory Society, through 2011

Editorial Positions
Co-Editor, Quarterly Journal of Political Science, 2005-Present
Associate Editor, Quarterly Journal of Political Science, 2005-Present
Associate Editor, Social Choice and Welfare, 2005-2010
Associate Editor, Games and Economic Behavior, 1997-2010

Print Research
Research Interests
Political economy, social choice and welfare, deliberation, income distribution

Austen-Smith, David and Timothy Feddersen. 2009. Information Aggregation and Communication in Committees. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. B 364(1518): 763-769.
Austen-Smith, David and Timothy Feddersen. 2008. In Response to Jurg Steiner's "Concept Stretching: The Case of Deliberation". European Political Science. 7(2): 191-193.
Austen-Smith, David and Timothy Feddersen. 2006. Deliberation, Preference Uncertainty and Voting Rules. American Political Science Review. 100(2): 209-217.
Austen-Smith, David and Michael Wallerstein. 2006. Redistribution and affirmative action. Journal of Public Economics. 90(10-11): 1789-1823.
Austen-Smith, David and Roland G. Fryer Jr.. 2005. An Economic Analysis of 'Acting White'. Quarterly Journal of Economics. 120(2): 551-583.
Austen-Smith, David. 2003. Majority Preference for Subsidies over Redistribution. Journal of Public Economics. 87(7): 1617-1640.
Austen-Smith, David and Jeffrey S. Banks. 2002. Costly Signaling and Cheap Talk in Models of Political Influence. European Journal of Political Economy. 18(2): 263-280.
Austen-Smith, David, Jeffrey S. Banks and Aldo Rustichini. 2002. Symposium on Political Science: Introduction. Journal of Economic Theory. 103(1)
Austen-Smith, David. 2000. Redistributing income under proportional representation. Journal of Political Economy. 108(6): 1235-1269.
Austen-Smith, David and Jeffrey S. Banks. 2000. Cheap Talk and Burned Money. Journal of Economic Theory. 91(1): 1-16.
Austen-Smith, David and Jeffrey S. Banks. 1999. Cycling of simple rules in the spatial model. Social Choice and Welfare. 16(4): 663-672.
Austen-Smith, David. 1998. Allocating Access for Information and Contributions. Journal of Law, Economics, & Organization. 14(2): 277-303.
Austen-Smith, David and Jeffrey S. Banks. 1998. Social Choice Theory, Game Theory and Positive Political Theory. Annual Review of Political Science. 1: 259-287.
Austen-Smith, David and John Wright. 1996. Theory and evidence for counteractive lobbying. American Journal of Political Science. 40(2): 543-564.
Austen-Smith, David and Jeffrey S. Banks. 1996. Information Aggregation, Rationality and the Condorcet Jury Theorem. American Political Science Review. 90(1): 34-45.
Austen-Smith, David. 1995. Campaign Contributions and Access. American Political Science Review. 89(3): 566-582.
Austen-Smith, David and John Wright. 1994. Counteractive Lobbying. American Journal of Political Science. 38(1): 25-44.
Austen-Smith, David. 1994. Strategic Transmission of Costly Information. Econometrica. 62(4): 955-963.
Austen-Smith, David. 1993. Interested Experts and Policy Advice: Multiple Referrals under Open Rule. Games and Economic Behavior. 5(1): 3-43.
Austen-Smith, David. 1993. Information and Influence: Lobbying for Agendas and Votes. American Journal of Political Science. 37(3): 799-833.
Austen-Smith, David. 1992. Strategic Models of Talk in Political Decision Making. International Political Science Review. 13(1)
Austen-Smith, David. 1992. Explaining the Vote: Constituency Constraints on Sophisticated Voting. American Journal of Political Science. 36(1): 68-89.
Reprinted in:
Frontiers of Game Theory, edited by K. Binmore, A. Krman and P. Tani, vol. 36, 49-70. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1994.
Austen-Smith, David and John Wright. 1992. Competitive Lobbying for a Legislator's Vote. Social Choice and Welfare. 9(3): 229-257.
Austen-Smith, David and Patricia O'Brien. 1992. Takeover Defenses and Shareholder Voting. Economica. 59(234): 199-219.
Austen-Smith, David. 1991. Rational consumers and irrational voters: a review essay on "Black Hole Tariffs and Endogenous Policy Theory". Economics and Politics. 3(1): 73-92.
Austen-Smith, David and Jeffrey S. Banks. 1991. Monotonicity in Electoral Systems. American Political Science Review. 85(2): 531-537.
Austen-Smith, David and William Riker. 1990. Asymmetric Information and the Coherence of Legislation: Correction. American Political Science Review. 84(1): 243-245.
Austen-Smith, David. 1990. Credible Debate Equilibria. Social Choice and Welfare. 7(1): 75-93.
Austen-Smith, David and Jeffrey S. Banks. 1990. Stable governments and the allocation of policy portfolios. American Political Science Review. 84(3): 891-906.
Austen-Smith, David. 1990. Information Transmission in Debate. American Journal of Political Science. 34(1): 124-152.
Austen-Smith, David. 1989. Sincere Voting in Models of Legislative Elections. Social Choice and Welfare. 6(4): 287-299.
Austen-Smith, David and Jeffrey S. Banks. 1988. Elections, Coalitions and Legislative Outcomes. American Political Science Review. 82(2): 405-422.
Reprinted in:
Rational Choice Politics, edited by Torun Dewan, Keith Dowding, Kenneth A. Shepsle, vol. 82, London: SAGE Publications, 2009.
Austen-Smith, David. 1987. Interest Groups, Campaign Contributions and Probabilistic Voting. Public Choice. 54(2): 123-140.
Austen-Smith, David and William Riker. 1987. Asymmetric Information and the Coherence of Legislation. American Political Science Review. 81(3): 891-918.
Austen-Smith, David. 1987. Sophisticated sincerity: voting over endogenous agendas. American Political Science Review. 81(4): 1323-1330.
Reprinted in:
Rational Choice Politics, edited by Torun Dewan, Keith Dowding, Kenneth A. Shepsle, vol. 81, London: SAGE Publications, 2009.
Austen-Smith, David and Stephen Jenkins. 1987. Interdependent Decision Making in Nonprofit Industries: A Simultaneous Equation Analysis of English Provincial Theatre. International Journal of Industrial Organization. 5(2): 149-174.
Austen-Smith, David. 1987. Parties, Districts and the Spatial Theory of Elections. Social Choice and Welfare. 4(1): 9-23.
Austen-Smith, David. 1986. Legislative Coalitions and Electoral Equilibrium. Public Choice. 50(1-3): 185-211.
Austen-Smith, David. 1985. A Multiperiod Model of Nonprofit Enterprises. Scottish Journal of Political Economy. 32(2): 119-134.
Austen-Smith, David. 1984. Subsidies to the Arts with Multiple Public Donors. Economic Record. 60(171): 381-389.
Austen-Smith, David. 1984. The pure theory of large two-candidate elections: comment on the Ledyard paper. Public Choice. 44(1): 43-48.
Austen-Smith, David. 1984. Two party competition with many constituencies. Mathematical Social Sciences. 7(2): 177-198.
Austen-Smith, David. 1983. The spatial theory of electoral competition: instability, institutions and information. Environment and Planning, Series C: Government and Policy. 1(4): 439-459.
Austen-Smith, David. 1982. Grant-Giving to Provincial Repertory Theatres by the Arts Council of Great Britain. Journal of Cultural Economics. 6(2): 57-79.
Austen-Smith, David. 1982. Restricted Pareto and Rights. Journal of Economic Theory. 26(1): 89-99.
Austen-Smith, David. 1981. Voluntary pressure groups. Economica. 48(190): 143-153.
Austen-Smith, David. 1981. Party Policy and Campaign Costs in a Multiconstituency Model of Electoral Competition. Public Choice. 37(3): 389-403.
Austen-Smith, David. 1980. On Justifying Subsidies to the Performing Arts.
Reprinted in:
Austen-Smith, David. 1980. Individual Contribution to Public Goods. Economics Letters. 5(4): 359-361.
Austen-Smith, David. 1980. On the Impact of Revenue Subsidies on Repertory Theatre Policy. Journal of Cultural Economics. 4(1): 9-17.
Austen-Smith, David. 1979. Fair Rights. Economics Letters. 4(1): 29-32.
Working Papers
Austen-Smith, David and Steven Callander. Policy and Politicians in an OLG model of Occupational Choice.
Austen-Smith, David and Timothy Feddersen. 2008. A Note on Preference Uncertainty and Communication in Committee.
Austen-Smith, David and Bard Harstad. Political Institutions and the Choice of Economic Policy Instruments.
Austen-Smith, David and Timothy Feddersen. 2009. Public Disclosure, Private Revelation or Silence: Whistleblowing Incentives and Managerial Policy.
Book Chapters
Diermeier, Daniel, David Austen-Smith and Eitan Zemel. 2014. "Unintended acceleration: Toyota's recall crisis." In Management Control Systems, First European Edition, London: McGraw Hill.
Austen-Smith, David. 2008. "Introduction to section on Inequality and Redistribution." In Selected Works of Michael Wallerstein, edited by D. Austen-Smith, J.Frieden, M.Golden, K.Moene,A.Przeworski, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Austen-Smith, David. 2008. "Political Competition." In New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, edited by Lawrence Blume and Steven N. Durlauf, London, UK: Palgrave MacMillan, 2nd edition.
Austen-Smith, David and Arthur Lupia. 2007. "Information in Elections." In Positive Changes in Political Science: The Legacy of Richard McKelvey's Most Influential Writings, edited by John H. Aldrich, James E. Alt and Arthur Lupia, 295-314. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press.
Austen-Smith, David. 2006. "Economic Methods in Positive Political Theory." In Oxford Handbook of Political Economy, edited by Barry W. Weingast and Donald Wittman, 899-914. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press.
Austen-Smith, David and Timothy Feddersen. 2005. "Deliberation and Voting Rules." In Social Choice and Strategic Decisions: Essays in Honor of Jeffrey S. Banks, edited by David Austen-Smith and John Duggan, Springer-Verlag.
Austen-Smith, David. 1996. "Interest Groups: Money, Information and Influence." In Perspectives on Public Choice, edited by Mueller_Dennis C., Cambridge UK: Cambridge University Press.
Austen-Smith, David. 1996. "Electing Legislatures." In Collective Decision-Making: Social Choice and Political Economy, edited by Schofield_Norman, Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishers.
Austen-Smith, David. 1996. "Refinements of the Heart." In Collective Decision-Making: Social Choice and Political Economy, edited by Schofield_Norman, Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishers.
Austen-Smith, David. 1993. "Information Acquisition and Orthogonal Argument." In Political Economy: Instittutions, Competition and Representation, edited by Barnett_William A, Hinich_Melvin J, and Schofield_Norman, Canbridge UK: Cambridge University Press.
Austen-Smith, David and Jeffrey S. Banks. 1989. "Electoral Accountability and Incumbency." In Models of Strategic Choice in Politics, edited by Ordeshook_Peter, Ann Arbor MI: University of Michigan Press.
Austen-Smith, David, J. Frieden, M. Golden, K. Moene and A. Przeworski. 2008. The Politics of Inequality, Labor, and Social Democracy: Selected Works of Michael Wallerstein. Cambridge University Press.
Austen-Smith, David and John Duggan. 2005. Social Choice and Strategic Decisions: Essays in Honor of Jeffrey S. Banks. Springer-Verlag.
Austen-Smith, David and Jeffrey S. Banks. 2005. Positive Political Theory II: Strategy and Structure. University of Michigan Press.
Austen-Smith, David and Jeffrey S. Banks. 1999. Positive Political Theory I: Collective Preference. University of Michigan Press.
Austen-Smith, David, Daniel Diermeier and Eitan Zemel. 2011. Unintended Acceleration: Toyota’s Recall Crisis. Case 5-311-504 (KEL598).
Austen-Smith, David, Adam Galinsky, K. H. Chung and C. LaVanway. 2007. Unilever’s Mission for Vitality. Case 5-307-501 (KEL364).
Austen-Smith, David and Jeffery C Burrell. 2012. Micawber Capital: For Mission or Profit?. Case 5-112-005 (KEL712).

Print Teaching
Teaching Interests
Political economy; non-market strategy; values
Full-Time / Part-Time MBA
Leadership and Crisis Management (KPPI-440-5)
This course was formerly known as KPPI 440-A
In recent decades corporations have increasingly become the dominant source for political and social change. Increased globalization and technological progress have further accelerated this process. Businesses are now held accountable by standards other than legal compliance or financial performance. Successful business leaders have recognized that these challenges are best mastered by a commitment to values-based management. However, simply "doing the right thing" is not enough. Rather, companies increasingly find themselves as targets of aggressive legal action, media coverage and social pressure. Organizations must be prepared to handle rapidly changing environments and anticipate potential threats. This requires a deep understanding of the strategic complexities in managing various stakeholders and constituencies. To confront students with these challenges in a realistic fashion, the class is structured around a rich set of challenging case studies and crisis simulation exercises.

Values Based Leadership (KPPI-460-0)
The first issue a leader in the role of manager, entrepreneur, investor or stakeholder must address about an organization concerns its "value proposition," whether deciding to enter an industry or to begin an undertaking. However, this analysis is incomplete if leaders fail to consider the wider impact of the organization's actions on its own employees and on society. This course focuses on the problem of incorporating a wide variety of value perspectives into decision-making. Values-based leadership involves the ability to take the disparate value propositions of various stakeholders and integrate them into a coherent vision. We explore how recognizing and incorporating competing values claims throughout the organization is often facilitated and hindered by a number of psychological, organizational and cultural processes. Students will come to understand the variety of underlying mechanisms managers of organizations typically have at their disposal to successfully implement values objectives and select among different approaches, while anticipating the constraints placed on choice by the organization's market and non-market environments.

Executive MBA
Ethics & Executive Leadership (KPPIX-472-0)
Ethics and Executive Leadership examines the anatomy of leadership in modern organizations, highlighting the ethical challenges facing corporate leaders in the rapidly changing business environment.

Strategic Crisis Management (KPPIX-910-0)
Strategic Crisis Management provides conceptual tools for managers in high-pressure, complex crisis situations. Topics include management and media, dealing with activists and interest groups, and surviving legal, legislative and regulatory challenges.