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 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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Do Companies Invest In Corporate Social Responsibility At the Expense of Their Employees?

The past decade has seen companies increasing investments in initiatives of corporate social responsibility (CSR), such as donating a share of profits...

Millennials and Gen Z Are Willing to Accept Lower Wages to Work in More Sustainable Firms

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Fahmi Quadir: “Short Sellers are Always an Easy Boogeyman”

In an interview with ProMarket, short-seller Fahmi Quadir, who has shorted companies like Wirecard and Valeant, discussed the public perception of short-sellers...

How the FTC Protected the Market Power of Pharmacy Benefit Managers

Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) were established in the 1960s to control drug costs but have since morphed into one of the most...

Recovering from Kleptocracy: A 10-Step Program

In his book Ill Winds: Saving Democracy from Russian Rage, Chinese Ambition, and American Complacency, Larry Diamond highlights 10 steps to close existing loopholes...

How Corporate Purpose Affects Firms

A company’s purpose is a core aspect of the organization: it influences the financial performance of company, and relates to its ownership...

Market Power and Money in Politics

A Stigler Center webinar explores how businesses lobby and compete for political power and whether mergers and industry concentration affect lobbying.