Oliver D. Hart

Department of Economics
Littauer Center 220
Harvard University
Cambridge, MA 02138
Tel: 617/496-3461
Fax: 617-495-7730

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
NBER Program Affiliations: CF , LE
NBER Affiliation: Research Associate
Institutional Affiliation: Harvard University

NBER Working Papers and Publications

September 2019Overcoming Contractual Incompleteness: The Role of Guiding Principles
with David Frydlinger: w26245
March 2015Short-term, Long-term, and Continuing Contracts
with Maija Halonen-Akatwijuka: w21005
June 2014Banks Are Where The Liquidity Is
with Luigi Zingales: w20207
June 2013Liquidity and Inefficient Investment
with Luigi Zingales: w19184

Published: Oliver Hart & Luigi Zingales, 2015. "LIQUIDITY AND INEFFICIENT INVESTMENT," Journal of the European Economic Association, vol 13(5), pages 737-769. citation courtesy of

May 2013Tax Shelters or Efficient Tax Planning? A Theory of The Firm Perspective On the Economic Substance Doctrine
with T. Christopher Borek, Angelo Frattarelli: w19081

Published: T. Christopher Borek & Angelo Frattarelli & Oliver Hart, 2014. "Tax Shelters or Efficient Tax Planning? A Theory of the Firm Perspective on the Economic Substance Doctrine," The Journal of Law and Economics, vol 57(4), pages 975-1000.

April 2013More is Less: Why Parties May Deliberately Write Incomplete Contracts
with Maija Halonen-Akatwijuka: w19001
October 2011How Do Informal Agreements and Renegotiation Shape Contractual Reference Points?
with Ernst Fehr, Christian Zehnder: w17545
August 2011Inefficient Provision of Liquidity
with Luigi Zingales: w17299
April 2011Noncontractible Investments and Reference Points

Published: Oliver Hart, 2013. "Noncontractible Investments and Reference Points," Games, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 4(3), pages 437-456, August. citation courtesy of

December 2008A Theory of Firm Scope
with Bengt Holmstrom: w14613

Published: Oliver Hart & Bengt Holmstrom, 2010. "A Theory of Firm Scope," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 125(2), pages 483-513, May. citation courtesy of

November 2008Contracts as Reference Points - Experimental Evidence
with Ernst Fehr, Christian Zehnder: w14501


  • Ernst Fehr & Oliver Hart & Christian Zehnder, 2009. "Contracts, Reference Points, and Competition-Behavioral Effects of The Fundamental Transformation," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(2-3), pages 561-572, 04-05.
  • Ernst Fehr & Oliver Hart & Christian Zehnder, 2011. "Contracts as Reference Points--Experimental Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(2), pages 493-525, April. citation courtesy of

October 2007Hold-up, Asset Ownership, and Reference Points

Published: Oliver Hart, 2009. "Hold-Up, Asset Ownership, and Reference Points-super-," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 124(1), pages 267-300, February.

Reference Points and the Theory of the Firm

Published: Oliver Hart, 2008. "Economica Coase Lecture Reference Points and the Theory of the Firm," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 75(299), pages 404-411, 08.

December 2006Debt Enforcement Around the World
with Simeon Djankov, Caralee McLiesh, Andrei Shleifer: w12807

Published: Simeon Djankov & Oliver Hart & Caralee McLiesh & Andrei Shleifer, 2008. "Debt Enforcement around the World," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(6), pages 1105-1149, December. citation courtesy of

November 2006Contracts as Reference Points
with John Moore: w12706

Published: Oliver Hart & John Moore, 2008. "Contracts as Reference Points," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 123(1), pages 1-48, 02. citation courtesy of

March 2004Agreeing Now to Agree Later: Contracts that Rule Out but do not Rule In
with John Moore: w10397
December 2001Takeover bids vs. Proxy Fights in Contests for Corporate Control
with Lucian Bebchuk: w8633
May 2001Financial Contracting

Published: Hart, Oliver. "Financial Contracting," Journal of Economic Literature, 2001, v39(4,Dec), 1070-1100. citation courtesy of

Norms and the Theory of the Firm


  • Brousseau, Eric and Jean-Michel Glachant (eds.) The economics of contracts: Theories and applications. Cambridge, New York, and Melbourne: Cambridge University Press, 2002.
  • Oliver Hart, 2001. "Norms and the Theory of the Firm," University of Pennsylvania Law Review, vol 149(6).

September 2000Different Approaches to Bankruptcy

Published: Oliver Hart, 2006. "Different approaches to bankruptcy," CESifo DICE Report, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 4(1), pages 3-8, 04. citation courtesy of

October 1999On the Design of Hierarchies: Coordination Versus Specialization
with John Moore: w7388

Published: Oliver Hart & John Moore, 2005. "On the Design of Hierarchies: Coordination versus Specialization," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(4), pages 675-702, August. citation courtesy of

September 1998Foundations of Incomplete Contracts
with John Moore: w6726

Published: Review of Economic Studies, Vol. 66, no. 1 (1999): 115-138. citation courtesy of

February 1998Cooperatives vs. Outside Ownership
with John Moore: w6421
November 1997A New Bankruptcy Procedure that Uses Multiple Auctions
with Rafael La Porta Drago, Florencio Lopez-de-Silane, John Moore: w6278

Published: European Economic Review, Papers and Proceedings, Vol. 41, nos. 3-5(April 1997): 461-473. citation courtesy of

January 1997Default and Renegotiation: A Dynamic Model of Debt
with John Moore: w5907

Published: Quarterly Journal of Economics, Vol. 113, no. 1 (1998): 1-41. citation courtesy of

September 1996The Proper Scope of Government: Theory and an Application to Prisons
with Andrei Shleifer, Robert W. Vishny: w5744

Published: Quarterly Journal of Economics, Vol. 112, no. 4 (1997): 1126-1161. citation courtesy of

June 1995Incomplete Contracts
NBER Reporter Reporter_archive
October 1994Debt and Seniority: An Analysis of the Role of Hard Claims in Constraining Management
with John Moore: w4886

Published: American Economic Review, vol. 85, no. 3, pp. 567-585, (June 1995). citation courtesy of

January 1994The Economics of Bankruptcy Reform
with Philippe Aghion, John Moore
in The Transition in Eastern Europe, Volume 2, Restructuring, Olivier Blanchard, Kenneth Froot, Jeffrey Sachs, editors
September 1993Theories of Optimal Capital Structure: A Managerial Discretion Perspective

Published: The Deal Decade: What Takeovers and Leveraged Buyouts Mean for Corporate Governance, edited by Margaret Blair. Washington, DC: The Brookings Institution, 1993.

June 1992The Economics of Bankruptcy Reform
with Philippe Aghion, John Moore: w4097

Published: Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, vol. 8, no. 3, (October 1992), pp. 523-546 citation courtesy of

November 1991A Theory of Debt Based on the Inalienability of Human Capital
with John Moore: w3906

Published: The Quarterly Journal of Economics, vol. 109, no. 4, pp. 841-879, (November 1994). citation courtesy of

February 1991Vertical Integration and Market Foreclosure
with Jean Tirole: r1517

Published: Hall, Bronwyn H., Ernst Berndt and Richard C. Levin. "The Impact of Corporate Restructuring on Industrial Research and Development" Brookings Papers on Economic Activity: Microeconomics 1990, pp. 205-276 and 285-286, (1990).

September 1990A Theory of Corporate Financial Structure Based on the Seniority of Claims
with John Moore: w3431

Published: (New Title) Debt and Senority: An Analysis of the Role of Hard Claims in Constraining Management. American Economic Review, Vol. 85, no. 3 (June 1995): 567-585.

August 1987One Share/One Vote and the Market for Corporate Control
with Sanford J. Grossman: w2347

Published: Journal of Financial Economics, vol. 20, no. 1/2, 1988, pp. 175-202. citation courtesy of

November 1983Implicit Contracts Under Asymmetric Information
with Sanford J. Grossman: r0430

Published: Grossman, Sandford J. and Oliver D. Hart. "Implicit Contracts Under Asymmetric Information." Quarterly Journal of Economics, Vol. 98, Supplement, (1983), pp. 123-156.

August 1983Corporate Financial Structure and Managerial Incentives
with Sanford J. Grossman: r0398

Published: Grossman, Sanford J. and Hart, Oliver D. "Corporate Financial Structure and Managerial Incentives." The Economics of Information and Uncertainty, edited by John McCall. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, (1982) pp. 107-140.

September 1982Unemployment with Observable Aggregate Shocks
with Sanford J. Grossman, Eric Maskin: w0975

Published: Grossman, Sanford J., Oliver Hart and Eric Maskin. "Unemployment with Observable Aggregate Shocks." Journal of Political Economy. (December 1983), pp. 907-928. citation courtesy of

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