Faculty Member

Prof. Jin Li

Job Title

Management and Strategy
Area Head of Management and Strategy

Jin Li is a professor of management and strategy, with joint appointment in economics at Hong Kong University. Prior to HKU, he has taught at Kellogg School of Management and London School of Economics, where he was a tenured associate professor of managerial economics and strategy. During his tenure at LSE, Professor Li won the Management Department teaching prize.

Professor Li’s main research area lies at the intersection of organizational economics, personnel economics, and labor economics. It focuses on the dynamics of informal relationships and explores how firms can design organizations to align incentives and build trust. This research sheds light on how organizational design can be a source of competitive advantage. Recently, Professor Li has studied topics on the digital economy including causality issues in machine learning algorithms and governance of blockchain.

Professor Li has published in leading academic journals such as the American Economic Review, the Review of Economic Studies, AEJ- Microeconomics, Journal of Economic Theory, Journal of Labor Economics, and the RAND Journal of Economics. His works have also been featured in media outlets such as the BBC, the Economist, and Quartz, and he has written for Harvard Business Review, Caixin, and FTChinese.

Professor Li earned his BA in economics and math (with high honors) from Wesleyan University, a BSc in applied math (with honors) from Caltech, and PhD in Economics from MIT.

Academic & Professional Qualification
Bachelor: Caltech (B.S) and Wesleyan University (B.A.)

Personnel Strategy for MBAs (Kellogg)
Strategy and Organization for MBAs (Kellogg)
Economics of Organization for PhDs (Kellogg)
Incentives and Governance in Organizations for Masters (LSE)
Capstone Project for MBAs (HKU)

Research Interest
Organizational Economics
Personnel Economics
Labor Economics
Selected Publications
“Tacit Collusion in Auctions and Conditions for Its Facilitation and Prevention: Equilibrium Selection in Laboratory Experimental Markets,” (with Charles Plott), Economic Inquiry, Vol 47, No.3, (July 2009) pp. 425-448.
“Job Mobility, Wage Dispersion, and Technological Change: An Asymmetric Information Perspective,” European Economic Review Vol 60, (May, 2013) pp. 105-126.
“Managing Conflicts in Relational Contracts,”
(with Niko Matouschek), American Economic Review, Vol 103, No.6 (October, 2013) pp. 2328-51.
“Relational Contracts with Subjective Peer Evaluations”
(with Joyee Deb and Arijit Mukherjee), Rand Journal of Economics, Vol 47, No. 1 (Spring, 2016) pp. 3-28 (Lead Article).
“When Does Aftermarket Monopolization Soften Foremarket Competition?”
(with Yuk-Fai Fong and Ke Liu), Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Vol 25, No.4 (Winter, 2016) pp. 852-879.
“Information Revelation in Relational Contracts”
(with Yuk-Fai Fong), Review of Economic Studies, Vol 84 No. 1 (Jan 2017) pp. 277-299.
“A Theory of Turnover and Wage Dynamics,”
(with Jun Yu), Economic Inquiry, Vol 55, No. 1 (Jan, 2017) pp. 223-236.
“Power Dynamics in Organizations,”
(with Niko Matouschek and Mike Powell), AEJ Micro, Vol 9, No. 1 (Feb, 2017) pp. 217-241.
“Relational Contracts, Limited Liability, and Employment Dynamics”
(with Yuk-Fai Fong), Journal of Economic Theory, Vol 169 (May, 2017), pp. 270-293.
“Managing Careers in Organizations”
(with Rongzhu Ke and Mike Powell), Journal of Labor Economics, Vol 36, No. 1 (Jan, 2018) pp. 197-252.
“Multilateral Interactions Improve Cooperation under Random Fluctuations”
(with Michael Powell), Games and Economic Behavior, Vol 119 (Jan, 2020) pp. 358-382
“Negotiated Block Trade and Rebuilding of Trust”
(with Pak Hung Au and Yuk‐Fai Fong), International Economic Review, Vol 61, No. 2 (May, 2020) pp. 901-939.
“Learning to Game the System” (with Arijit Mukherjee and Luis Vasconcelos), Review of Economic Studies, Vol 88, No. 4 (July, 2021) pp. 2014-2041.
“Morale and Debt Dynamics” (with Daniel Barron and Michał Zator), Management Science, Vol 68, No. 6 (June, 2022) pp. 4496-4516.
“Optimal Subjective Contracting with Revision” (with Xinhao He and Zhaoneng Yuan), Management Science, forthcoming.

Service to the University/Community
Professor Li has acted as a reviewer for 30 journals, including AER, Econometrica, JPE, QJE, and ReStud. He has also reviewed grant proposals for the National Science Foundation of the U.S. (NSF) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). Professor Li served as an external PhD examiner for the Norwegian School of Economics.