About Marianne Bertrand
Professor Bertrand is an applied micro-economist and a leader in the new field of social economics. Her research covers the fields of labor economics, corporate finance, economic development, and gender economics. Her research in these areas has been published widely, including numerous research articles in the Quarterly Journal of Economics, the Journal of Political Economy, the American Economic Review, and the Journal of Finance. Her Google Scholar citation count stands at 54,272 (29,848 since 2016).
Several key factors contributed to Professor Bertrand’s selection as the winner AIB’s 2022 John Fayerweather Eminent Scholar Award, including her longstanding commitment to engaging in topics of diversity, equity, and inclusion, the remarkable scope and depth of her scholarship, and her overall impact in engaging both IB researchers and practitioners.
One notable example comes from her work in labor economics, which has focused heavily on the labor of top managers and CEOs, ultimately producing what many consider to be the go-to literature review on the topic. Her paper “Are CEOs rewarded for luck? The ones without principals are” (QJE, 2001) offers a powerful rebuttal to the argument that markets efficiently price CEOs labor. She has contributed articles on educational pathways to social mobility (Journal of Labor Economics, 2020), the impact of COVID on Small Business Outcomes (PNAS, 2020), and most recently on the social factors (e.g. proximity) to explaining the productivity of bureaucrats (JLEO, 2021).
Professor Bertrand’s earlier work was largely oriented towards questions of corporate governance, an area in which she continues to lead. Her work moves seamlessly from studies largely on companies located in the United States to those located in France, India, Thailand, South Africa, and developing countries in general. Her corporate work focuses on abuses through bad government, including heralded studies on excessive CEO pay, managerial power, and corporate political strategies in the US, France, India and elsewhere, with her most recent work finding CSR giving to philanthropies to be the largest source of such funding for firms to influence US federal and state governments.
Throughout much of her career, Professor Bertrand has studied bias, with a particular focus on gender and race. Early in her career, she published the article “Gender gap in top corporate jobs” in ILRR, 2001. She co-authored the heralded study called “Are Emily and Greg More Employable than Lakisha and Jamal” (AER, 2004). She authored one of the best studies on the effects of the Norwegian law imposing quotas for women directors on female employment (Rev Econ Studies, 2019).
Clearly, her work is highly relevant from an IB perspective and is frequently cited by international business published articles. Topic-wise, her leading work on issues such as corporate governance and CSR, comparatively done in a wide variety of countries across the world (including the Global South), is at the heart of the study of IB and, particularly, of MNEs. Her work is on topics that deserve much greater interest in IB in the future, touching upon urgent challenges relating to inequality and poverty and bias and discrimination.