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.

Addressing Climate Change Must Begin with Verifiable Carbon Accounting

Robert Kaplan and Karthik Ramanna propose a new approach for verifiable accounting on indirect corporate emissions that would apply to all corporations,...

Unreliable Accounts: How Regulators Fabricate Conceptual Narratives to Diffuse Criticism

In 2010, as the world was reeling from the global financial crisis, the body that determines generally accepted accounting principles for listed...

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...

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How to Make the Market for Real Estate Agents More Competitive

Delinking buyer and seller commissions will make markets for real estate agent services more competitive, allowing buyers and sellers to negotiate commissions...

Dislocation, Dislocation, Dislocation: Covid, the Retail Crisis, and REITs

In an excerpt from his new book Retail Recovery, retail expert and author Mark Pilkington explores the impact of the sector's decline...

Addressing Climate Change Must Begin with Verifiable Carbon Accounting

Robert Kaplan and Karthik Ramanna propose a new approach for verifiable accounting on indirect corporate emissions that would apply to all corporations,...

The FTC Was Correct to Withdraw the Vertical Merger Guidelines

The 2020 Vertical Merger Guidelines, now withdrawn by the FTC, did not represent sound merger policy, argues Steven Salop; rather, they were...

The Chicago Planning Program and the Interdisciplinary Tradition of the Chicago School

The Chicago Planning Program, an interdisciplinary program that operated at the University of Chicago between 1947 and 1956, is an often-neglected part...

Why a “Whole-of-Government” Approach is the Solution to Antitrust’s Current Labor Problem

For the majority of America’s regulatory history, the problem of employer monopsony was understood as a competition policy issue that required direct...

Antitrust Law’s Unwritten Rules of Unfair Competition

Does the Sherman Act actually “protect competition, not competitors”? An examination of the case law reveals a more nuanced picture, in which...