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.

The Metaphysics of Regulatory Capture

Stiglerian capture and corrosive cultural capture, its left-leaning parallel, are ostensibly symbionts, two attempts at identifying impediments to keeping markets competitive by...

The Case for Optimism About America

The good news is that America is still the engine of global wealth creation: nothing fosters political pragmatism like prosperity. But there...

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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A New Browser Extension Aims to Bring Transparency to Big Tech Funding

As Congress prepares to debate a series of new antitrust bills​, the​ Big Tech Funding browser extension encourages lawmakers to be mindful...

What Are They Hiding? What Firms Don’t Want Us to Know About Their Economic Development Incentives

State and local governments offer firms all kinds of incentives in hopes of spurring local economic development. New research finds that a...

Two Years After the Business Roundtable Statement: Pointing in the Right Direction

The 2019 Business Roundtable statement was a welcome break from the position that the nation’s top corporate CEOs took in 1997, when...

The Complicated Legacy of the “Chicago Boys” in Chile

How did a group of Chicago-trained economists manage to turn Chile into the cradle of neoliberalism? As the country aims to move...

“Comments for Sale”: Charitable Donations Can Lead Non-profits to Support Corporate Regulatory Agendas

A new paper shows how financial ties between companies and non-profits can subvert rulemaking process and lead to regulations that favor the...

The DOJ’s “New Madison” Doctrine Disregards Both the Economics and the Law of Innovation

DOJ’s “New Madison” approach to antitrust and intellectual property law dictates that antitrust should stay out of disputes over patents, even when...

Two Years Later, Has the Business Roundtable Statement Transformed Capitalism?

Two years after the Business Roundtable redefined its statement of Purpose of a Corporation to include “a fundamental commitment to all of...