Jennifer Kuan

Visiting Assistant Professor

Office GW1 638
Phone 504-314-2498
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My research applies economics to questions of strategy within companies, nonprofit organizations and government. While the analysis of ownership and vertical integration might sound dry, my studies have revealed surprising differences in strategy and performance among organizations seem homogeneous. For example, among venture capital firms, there are two very different approaches to investing (sometimes called East Coast and West Coast); in the stock market, there are two stock exchange types, each driven by polar opposite incentives; and there are several flavors of nonprofit hospitals.
This variation-under-one-umbrella has implications not just for strategy, but also for entrepreneurship and innovation, including how firms might differentiate themselves from competitors and where they are likely to find early stage venture funding. My approach to research has also uncovered insights for questions of broader concern, including entrepreneurship in developing countries, stock market upheaval in the US, and managing refugees in Europe.
Before getting my PhD, I developed application software overseas and was a manufacturing engineer in Silicon Valley. After my PhD, I co-organized and managed the innovation seminar at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research at Stanford University. I'm also a violinist and have enjoyed serving on several nonprofit boards, helping them succeed in a difficult environment.


Strategic Management (MGMT 4010)
Corporate & Cooperative Strategy (MGMT 4120)


“What goes on under the hood? How Engineers Innovate in the Automotive Supply Chain," with Susan Helper, forthcoming book chapter, NBER

“The Political Economy of Long-Term Technological Stasis: The Case of Saharan Salt Mining," with Ekundayo Shittu and Seraphima Rombe-Shulman, The Extractive Industries and Society, 2015

“Does it Matter Who Your Buyer Is? The Role of Nonprofit ‘Mission’ in the Market for Corporate Control of Hospitals,” with Paul Gertler, Journal of Law and Economics, 52:2, May 2009

“Ringing the Bell on the NYSE: Might a Nonprofit Stock Exchange Have Been Efficient?” with Stephen F. Diamond. Duquesne Business Law Journal, Spring, 2007

“The Phantom Profits of the Opera: Nonprofit Ownership in the Arts as a Make-Buy Decision,” Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, 17(2), 2001.

Education & Affiliations

PhD Business, UC-Berkeley, Haas School of Business
MS Industrial Engineering, Stanford University
BA International Relations, Stanford University

Member: Academy of Management (AoM), Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA), American Economic Association (AEA), Industry Studies Association (ISA), Society for Institutional and Organizational Economics (SIOE) (formerly ISNIE)