Richard Holden

Professor of Economics

UNSW Business School



t    @profholden


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Richard Holden is Professor of Economics at UNSW Business School, director of the Economics of Education Knowledge Hub @UNSWBusiness, co-director of the New Economic Policy Initiative, and President-elect of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia.


Prior to that he was on the faculty at the University of Chicago and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He received a PhD from Harvard University.


His research focuses on contract theory, organizational economics, law and economics, and political economy. He has written on topics including: network capital, political districting, the boundary of the firm, incentives in organizations, mechanism design, voting rules, and blockchain.


Professor Holden has published in top general interest journals such as the the Quarterly Journal of Economics, the American Economic Review and  the Review of Economic Studies.


He is currently editor of the Journal of Law and Economics, and is the founding director of the Herbert Smith Freehills Inititative on Law & Economics at UNSW.


He has been a Visiting Professor of Economics at  the MIT Department of Economics and the MIT Sloan School of Management,  Visiting Professor of Economics at the Harvard Economics Department, and Visiting Professor of Law at the University of Chicago Law School and Columbia Law School.


He is a Fellow of the Econometric Society, a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia, and a Distinguished Fellow of the Luohan Academy.


His research has been featured in press articles in The New York Times, The Financial Times, The Economist, and the New Republic.


Professor Holden appears regularly as a media commentator, and has published opinion pieces in outlets including The Australian Financial Review, The Australian, The New York Times, and The New Republic. He also writes a weekly column called Vital Signs for The Conversation.