Professor David Besanko is the IBM Professor of Regulation and Competitive Practice at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Besanko is a Northwestern graduate, having received his Ph.D. in Managerial Economics and Decision Sciences in 1982. He received his BA in Political Science from Ohio University in 1977. Before joining the Kellogg faculty in 1991, Professor Besanko was a member of the faculty of the School of Business at Indiana University from 1982-84 and 1986-1991. In 1985, he was a member of the Economics Staff at Bell Communications Research.
Professor Besanko teaches courses in public economics and infrastructure strategy at the Kellogg School. In 2015, Besanko received the Aspen Institute's Faculty Pioneer Award, sometimes referred to as the Oscars for the business school world. In 2013 he was a finalist for this award. Besanko has received the two most prestigious teaching awards at the Kellogg School: the L.G. Lavengood Professor of the Year Award in 1995, 2010, and 2016 he is the only three-time winner of this award since its inception in 1975 and the Alumni Choice Teaching Award in 2006. At the Kellogg School, he has also received the Sidney J. Levy Teaching Award (1998, 2000, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2018, and 2020), the Chair's Core Teaching Award (1999, 2001, 2003, and 2005), and the Kellogg Impact Award (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021).
Professor Besanko's research covers topics relating to the intersection of competitive strategy and public policy, the economics of regulation, and the theory of the firm. He has published over 50 articles in leading professional journals in economics and business. Among other places, his work has appeared in the American Economic Review, Econometrica, the Quarterly Journal of Economics, the RAND Journal of Economics, the Review of Economic Studies, the Journal of Law and Economics, Journal of Economic Theory, and Management Science. Along with Daniel Diermeier and Jose-Miguel Abito, he is co-author of Corporate Reputation and Social Activism, published in 2019. He has co-authored the widely used textbook, Microeconomics, with Ronald Braeutigam, now in its sixth edition. And with David Dranove, Mark Shanley, and Scott Schaefer, Besanko is a co-author of Economics of Strategy.
Professor Besanko served as Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs: Strategy and Planning at the Kellogg School from 2007 to 2009 and Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs: Curriculum and Teaching at Kellogg from 2001 to 2003.
"Leading voices" is a half credit course intended to engage Kellogg students in the role of business in public leadership. Students will be exposed to leading experts in current issues, develop specific knowledge, and explore various viewpoints, before choosing a specific topic to analyze and then develop and advocate a point of view.
Public Economics for Business Leaders: Federal Policy (PACT-470-0)
To be an effective business leader in today's complex world requires an understanding of the important public policy issues facing society. Managers need to understand society's problems and the range of possible public solutions and policies in order to know how to influence, incorporate and respond to public actions. This class will enable students to understand, analyze and take the perspective of government and non-government organizations as they attempt to alleviate societal problems. Topics include the interface of government and business, the justification for and principle methods of government intervention in the market place, the primary means of paying for government, measuring the costs and benefits of government policies, and current policy applications such as social security reform, education policy, health insurance and tax reform.