Officers and Board: Biographies

Alexandra Benham
Alexandra Benham is a founder and the Secretary to the Board of the Ronald Coase Institute. Her research areas include the costs of exchange across countries, institutional reform, international relations, and the economics of information. She studied mathematics as an undergraduate at Knox College and the University of Bonn, then did graduate studies in mathematics and political science at Stanford University. She has been a National Science Foundation Fellow, a DAAD Scholar, a National Merit Scholar, and a Woodrow Wilson Fellow. She is a frequent lecturer on institutional analysis and research design. She co-organized the inaugural conference of the International Society for New Institutional Economics, served as editor of its Newsletter 1997-2004, and received its Lifetime Achievement Award.

Lee Benham
Lee Benham is a founder and Board member of the Ronald Coase Institute. He graduated from Knox College and received a Ph.D. in economics from Stanford University. He taught at the University of Chicago and subsequently at Washington University in St. Louis, where he is now Professor Emeritus. His areas of research include the determinants and consequence of costs of exchange across countries and industrial organization. He has published in, among others, The Journal of Law and Economics, The Journal of Political Economy, The Review of Economics and Statistics, The Journal of Health Economics, and Economic Inquiry. He co-organized the inaugural conference of the International Society for New Institutional Economics, served as founding Vice-President and Board member, and received its Lifetime Achievement Award.

Philip Keefer
Philip Keefer is a Board member of the Ronald Coase Institute. He is Principal Advisor of the Institutions for Development Department of the Inter-American Development Bank. He was formerly a Lead Research Economist in the Development Research Group of the World Bank. The focus of his work, based on experience in countries ranging from Bangladesh, Benin, Brazil, and the Dominican Republic to Indonesia, Mexico, Peru and Pakistan, is the determinants of political incentives to pursue economic development and of public officials to work in the public interest. His research, on issues such as the impact of insecure property rights on growth; the effects of political credibility on policy; the sources of political credibility in democracies and autocracies; the influence of political parties on conflict, political budget cycles, and public sector reform; and the effects of compensation on the effort and intrinsic motivation of public officials, has appeared in journals ranging from the Quarterly Journal of Economics to the American Political Science Review.

Gary Libecap
Gary Libecap is a Board member of the Ronald Coase Institute. He is Distinguished Professor of Corporate Environmental Management, Bren School of Environmental Science and Management and Department of Economics, University of California, Santa Barbara. He also is a Research Associate, National Bureau of Economic Research, Cambridge, Massachusetts. His Ph.D. is from the University of Pennsylvania. He has authored or co-authored seven books, previously edited the series Advances in the Study of Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and Economic Growth; and has written more than 150 journal articles and book chapters on property rights, natural resources, environmental and other issues, and he serves on various National Science Foundation panels. His research focuses on how property rights to natural and environmental resources are defined and enforced, and how markets can be developed as an important option for more effective resource management and allocation. His latest article is “Addressing Global Environmental Externalities: Transaction Costs Considerations,” Journal of Economic Literature (2013), and his latest book is Environmental Markets: A Property Rights Approach, co authored with Terry Anderson, Cambridge University Press (2014).

Claude Ménard
Claude Ménard is a Board member and Treasurer of the Ronald Coase Institute. Professor at the Sorbonne since 1983, Claude Ménard has published extensively in international journals and has been co-editor of the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization for over 10 years. On the board of several international journals, he is editor of the series Advances in New Institutional Analysis (Edward Elgar). He is also a co-founder and past president of the International Society for New Institutional Economics (ISNIE), and a co-founder and member of the Board of the Ronald Coase Institute. His main interest goes to the economics of organization and institutions, the economics of regulation, and the reform of public utilities. His most recent books are The International Library of New Institutional Economics (2005), The Handbook of New Institutional Economics (co-editor with Mary Shirley, 2008), Regulation, Deregulation, and Reregulation: Institutional Perspectives (co-editor with Michel Ghertman, 2009), Economie des Organisations (2012), and Public Procurement Reforms in Africa: Challenges in Institutions and Governance (co-author with Christine de Mariz and Bernard Abeille, 2014). Details are provided on his website

Roger Myerson 
Roger Myerson is a Board member of the Ronald Coase Institute. He is the Glen A. Lloyd Distinguished Service Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago. Myerson has a PhD from Harvard University and taught for 25 years in the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University before coming to the University of Chicago in 2001. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Sciences, and the Council on Foreign Relations. He has received several honorary degrees, and he received the Jean-Jacques Laffont Prize in 2009. He was awarded the 2007 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in recognition of his contributions to mechanism design theory, which analyzes rules for coordinating economic agents efficiently when they have different information and difficulty trusting each other. Myerson has made seminal contributions to the fields of economics and political science. In game theory, he introduced refinements of Nash's equilibrium concept, and he developed techniques to characterize the effects of communication among rational agents who have different information. His analysis of incentive constraints in economic communication introduced several fundamental concepts that are now widely used in economic analysis, including the revelation principle and the revenue-equivalence theorem in auctions and bargaining. Myerson has also applied game-theoretic tools to political science, analyzing how political incentives can be affected by different electoral systems and constitutional structures.

Sam Peltzman
Sam Peltzman is a Board member of the Ronald Coase Institute. He is the Ralph and Dorothy Keller Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of Economics at the Booth School of Business, University of Chicago. He received his PhD in economics from the University of Chicago in 1965, and he has previously taught at the University of California, Los Angeles. He also served as senior staff economist for the President’s Council of Economic Advisers. He has been on the faculty of the University of Chicago’s School of Business since 1973. Peltzman’s research has focused on issues related to the interface between the public sector and the private economy. His published work includes numerous articles in academic journals. These encompass many issues in the general areas of the economics of government regulation and industrial rganization, including the regulation of banking, automobile safety, pharmaceutical innovation, the growth of government, the political economy of public education, and the economic analysis of voters and legislators. He is the author or an editor of several books, including Political Participation and Government Regulation and The Deregulation of Network Industries: What’s Next. Peltzman is currently an editor of the Journal of Law and Economics and is the Director Emeritus of the George J. Stigler Center for the Study of the Economy and the State at the University of Chicago. He served as director of the Stigler Center from 1991-2005. He serves on the editorial boards of several academic journals and on the Council of Academic Advisers of the American Enterprise Institute.

Mary Shirley
Mary Shirley is a founder, Board member, and the President of the Ronald Coase Institute. Mary Shirley has a PhD in economics and has worked for over 30 years in development, including over 20 years as a research manager in the World Bank and as a consultant for the Inter-American Development Bank, the Swedish International Development Agency, and the World Bank. She is the author of numerous scholarly articles and books on institutional issues in economic development, including Institutions and Development (republished in paperback in 2009) and co-editor of The Handbook for New Institutional Economics (republished in paperback, 2008). She has published in, among others, Journal of Banking and Finance, Journal of Comparative Economics, Journal of Institutional Economics, Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Research Observer, World Development. She is a founder, board member, and past President of the International Society for New Institutional Economics (ISNIE). She is co-editor of New Institutional Economics, an e-journal of SSRN. Her research interests include institutions and development, foreign aid, regulation, water system reform, and privatization.

Chenggang Xu
Chenggang Xu is a Board member of the Ronald Coase Institute. He is Chung Hon-Dak Professor in Economic Development at the University of Hong Kong. He is also a Special-Term Visiting Professor at Tshinghua University. He has a PhD in economics from Harvard, 1991. He taught at the London School of Economics (1991-2009) and was a Reader; he also taught/worked at Harvard, the IMF, and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. He was World-Class University Professor at Seoul National University (2009-2013). He served as the President of the Asian Law and Economics Association (2010-2012), and won the Sun Yefang Economics Prize in 2013. He has served as co-editor for three major national and international joumals in economics, finance, and law and economics. He is a member of editorial boards for more than a dozen major Chinese and international journals in economics, finance, and law and economics. He has dozens of publications in major journals including JEL, JPE, AER, RES, and EER, chapters in more than a dozen books, and has published a book. He has delivered invited speeches or keynotes at the Econometric Society World Congress, International Economic Association (lEA) World Congress, lEA Round Tables, AEA meetings, EEA meetings, China Economic Annnal Conference, Hong Kong Economic Association Biennial Conference, and CEI (Central European Initiative) Summit Economic Forum. He has been invited to provide policy advice by the Chinese State Council, People's Bank of China, CASS, UNDP, EBRD, and UK HM Treasury. He has served as consultant for the World Bank and the IMF. He has been involved in Chinese reform debates since the 1980s.