Karthik Ramanna

Karthik Ramanna is a professor of business and public policy at Oxford university’s Blavatnik School of Government. Ramanna joined Oxford in 2016, after nearly a decade on the faculty of Harvard Business School. At Harvard, he also held the Henry B. Arthur Fellowship in ethics, the Marvin Bower Fellowship recognizing innovative faculty research, and a visiting fellowship at the Kennedy School of Government. Additionally, he is a faculty associate of the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs. He received his Ph.D. in management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Ramanna’s scholarship explores the role of business leadership in shaping the basic rules that govern capital-market societies. His book Political Standards (University of Chicago Press) studies the political and economic forces that have shaped corporate financial reporting standards over the last 30 years. He argues that accounting rulemaking is an allegory for the “thin political markets” where businesses shape – and sometimes subvert – the essential technical edifices of our economy. Ramanna has authored over two-dozen HBS case materials and over a dozen original research articles in leading professional outlets such as the Accounting Review, the California Management Review, and the Harvard Business Review. His scholarship has won awards from numerous bodies such as the American Accounting Association. He serves on the editorial boards of several scientific journals, including as co-editor of the interdisciplinary journal Accounting, Economics & Law and as associate editor of the Journal of Accounting & Economics, the most-cited outlet in that field.

Seven Reasons Why the Wirecard Fraud Matters

We now know that Wirecard was a massive fraud. The company—treated like a rock star by regulators and key players in finance—fabricated...

Corporations Are Already Plenty Powerful. Stakeholder Capitalism Could Make Them More So

Encouraging corporations to further step into the role of governments and civil society groups by becoming more "socially focused" risks greater depreciation...

Are We Witnessing the Fall of the American Liberal Order?

In the past 30 years, liberalism has not lived up to its promise to deliver economic returns for the broad majority of...

Election Timetabling Is Not the Role of Judges

As wrong as it is that the Wisconsin elections were held under patently unsafe conditions, it is not the place of the courts to...

The Solution to the Auditing Industry’s Oligopoly Problem? More Competition

The UK’s reviews of the Big Four auditing firms have largely adopted an approach of more regulation and government oversight. This approach is not...

Corporate Auditing Is Broken. Here’s How to Fix It

The ostensive watchdogs of market disclosure have become poster boys for corporate chicanery, argues Karthik Ramanna of Oxford’s Blavatnik School.     Auditors are in the business of...

A Moment To Reform Accounting Rulemaking?

The European Parliament is due to formally adopt a cross-party report that is strongly critical of accounting standard-setting institutions, in particular the International Accounting...

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Reversing the “Resource Curse” with Foreign Corruption Regulation

Anti-corruption regulation originating in developed countries is effective in changing corporate behavior and has a positive economic impact on developing countries.

The Death of Hong Kong’s Rule of Law

Hong Kong's rule of law has suffered a fatal blow. With the national security law, the authoritarian regime has all that it...

President-Elect Joe Biden and the Real Lessons of DuPont

Simply talking corporate America into being more responsible is not enough. It may get corporations to talk the talk, but not to...

How Companies Spin Off Environmental Liabilities to Avoid Legal Obligations

Environmental externalities are vexing for corporate decision makers, but some companies have figured out a way to deal with them: a spinoff....

How Pfizer’s Vaccine Announcement Demonstrates the Political Power of Firms

By timing the disclosure of the results of its vaccine trial, Pfizer could have influenced the 2020 presidential election. This is worrisome...

The Useful Distraction of Section 230

How the red-herring of a politicized Section 230 and “conservative censorship” distracts from a bipartisan national privacy act.

Institution Man: How Corporations Came to Dominate the US Economy

In the first chapter of his book Transaction Man, Nicholas Lemann explores how Adolf Berle, author of The Modern Corporation and Private...