Niko Matouschek
Niko Matouschek

Professor of Strategy

Print Overview

Niko Matouschek received his PhD in Economics from the London School of Economics and has been at Kellogg since 2001. He is currently a Professor in the Department of Strategy.

Professor Matouschek works on the economics of organizations and contracts. Topics he has examined include the design of decision rules, the effect of competition on the organization of firms, and the economics of the marriage contract. His papers have been published in a variety of economics journals, including the American Economic Review, the Review of Economic Studies and the RAND Journal of Economics.

He is an Associate Editor of the RAND Journal of Economics, a Research Affiliate at the Center for Economic Policy Research (CEPR), and a Research Fellow at the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA). In 2005 he received the Sidney J. Levy Teaching Award for teaching excellence in Kellogg elective classes.

Areas of Expertise
Contract Theory
Economics of Organizations
Information Economics

Print Vita
PhD, 2000, Economics, London School of Economics
MS, 1996, Economics, London School of Economics
BS, 1995, Economics, London School of Economics

Academic Positions
Professor, Department of Management and Strategy, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 2013-present
Associate Professor (with Tenure), Department of Management and Strategy, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 2008-2013
Donald D. Harrington Faculty Fellow, School of Law, University of Texas at Austin, 2007-2008
Assistant Professor, Department of Management and Strategy, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 2001-2008

Grants and Awards
L.G. Lavengood Outstanding Professor of the Year Award, Kellogg School of Management, 2012
Excellence in Refereeing, American Economic Association, 2009
Sidney J. Levy Teaching Award, Kellogg School of Management, 2004-2005

Editorial Positions
Associate Editor, RAND Journal of Economics, 2008-Present
Ad-hoc Reviewer, RAND Journal of Economics
Ad-hoc Reviewer, Journal of Political Economy
Ad-hoc Reviewer, American Economic Review
Ad-hoc Reviewer, International Economic Review
Ad-hoc Reviewer, American Economic Journal: Microeconomics
Ad-hoc Reviewer, journal of law, economics, and organization
Ad-hoc Reviewer, American Economic Review
Ad-hoc Reviewer, RAND Journal of Economics
Ad-hoc Reviewer, American Economic Review
Ad-hoc Reviewer, RAND Journal of Economics
Ad-hoc Reviewer, American Economic Journal: Microeconomics
Ad-hoc Reviewer, International Journal of Industrial Organization

Print Research
Research Interests
Economics of organization, contract economics, industrial organization

Matouschek, Niko, Wouter Dessein and Ricardo Alonso. Forthcoming. Organizing to Adapt and Compete. American Economic Journal: Microeconomics.
Matouschek, Niko and Jin Li. 2013. Managing Conflicts in Relational Contracts. American Economic Review. 103(6): 2328-51.
Matouschek, Niko, Ricardo Alonso and Dessein Wouter. 2010. Strategic Communication: Prices versus Quantities. Journal of European Economic Association. 2-3: 365-376.
Matouschek, Niko, Paolo Ramezzana and Frederic Robert-Nicoud. 2009. Labor Market Frictions, Job Instability, and the Flexibility of the Employment Relationship. European Economic Review. 53(1): 19-36.
Matouschek, Niko, Ricardo Alonso and Dessein Wouter. 2008. Centralization Versus Decentralization An Application to Pricing by a Multi-Market Firm. Journal of the European Economic Association, Papers and Proceedings. 6(2-3): 457-467.
Matouschek, Niko, Ricardo Alonso and Dessein Wouter. 2008. When Does Coordination Require Centralization?. American Economic Review. 98(1): 145-79.
Alonso, Ricardo and Niko Matouschek. 2008. Optimal Delegation. Review of Economic Studies. 75(1): 259-293.
Matouschek, Niko and Imran Rasul. 2008. The Economics of the Marriage Contract: Theories and Evidence. Journal of Law and Economics. 51: 59-110.
Alonso, Ricardo and Niko Matouschek. 2007. Relational Delegation. RAND Journal of Economics. 38(4): 1070-1089.
Matouschek, Niko and Paolo Ramezzana. 2007. The Role of Exclusive Contracts in Facilitating Market Transactions. Journal of Industrial Economics. 55(2): 197-222.
Matouschek, Niko and Frederic Robert-Nicoud. 2005. The Role of Human Capital Investments in the Location Decision of Firms. Regional Science and Urban Economics. 35(5): 570-583.
Matouschek, Niko and Tony Venables. 2005. Evaluating Investement Projects in the Presence of Sectoral Linkages. Economics of Transition. 13(4): 573-603.
Matouschek, Niko. 2004. Ex Post Inefficiencies in the Property Rights Theory of the Firm. Journal of Law, Economics, & Organization. 20(1): 125-147.
Working Papers
Matouschek, Niko and Steven Callander. 2014. Optimal Search on Rugged Landscapes.
Powell, MichaelNiko Matouschek and Jin Li. 2015. Power Dynamics in Organizations.
Book Chapters
Matouschek, Niko. 2012. "Decisions In Organizations." In Handbook of Organizational Economics, edited by R. Gibbons and John Roberts, 373-431. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Print Teaching
Teaching Interests
Strategy and organization; economics of organization
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 & Organization (MGMT-452-0)

This course counts toward the following majors: Managerial Analytics, Managerial Economics, Managament & Strategy

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.

Executive MBA
Incentives, Strategy, and Organization (MGMTX-456-0)
People respond to incentives and they do so in predictable ways. Starting with this simple premise, this course then asks how managers can design incentives to get employees to do what they want them to do. The goal of the course is to offer a micro-economic approach to both the internal organization of firms and its relationship with the firms' overall strategies. Topics include the design of pay for performance contracts, which have increased labor productivity by almost 50% in some firms, but also caused significant problems in others. Another major topic is decentralization and the tools that can be used to manage the problems that often arise in decentralized firms. For instance, transfer prices can facilitate decentralization if designed appropriately, but also exacerbate problems if not. The course is structured around an equal number of lectures and case discussions. Lectures often involve classroom experiments that illustrates some of the trade-offs that managers face in designing organizations. Case discussions may include classic cases such as Lincoln Electric and Arthur Andersen, and recent cases such as Keller Williams Realty and Timken.

Executive Education
Competitive Strategy
Gain the insights you need to secure and maintain your organization’s competitive strategy long-term through this interactive learning experience. With a blend of modern theory, strategic analysis and practical application, this program readies you for sustainable strategic success based on time-tested economic principles for profitability and growth.
View Program