John Beshears is the Terrie F. and Bradley M. Bloom Associate Professor of Business Administration in the Negotiation, Organizations & Markets Unit, teaching the second-year MBA course “Motivation & Incentives.” He is also a faculty research fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research. Before joining HBS, he was an assistant professor of finance at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Professor Beshears’s primary research area is behavioral economics, the field that combines insights from psychology and economics to explore individual decision making and market outcomes. He focuses on understanding how the financial decisions of households and firms are influenced by the institutional environment in which choices are made. In recent work, he has studied participation in retirement savings plans, household investment decisions, and health-care choices.
The National Institutes of Health, Social Security Administration, FINRA Investor Education Foundation, Russell Sage Foundation, TIAA Institute, and National Science Foundation have supported Professor Beshears’s research. His work has been published in journals including the Journal of Finance, Journal of Financial Economics, Review of Financial Studies, Journal of Public Economics, Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America; it has also been featured in The Economist, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, and Time.
After earning his Ph.D. in business economics at HBS, Professor Beshears was a postdoctoral fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research. He received an AB in economics from Harvard University.