Professor Michael Waldman, the Charles H. Dyson Professor of Management and professor of economics, has served on the faculty of the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University since 1991. He is widely recognized as one of his field's top researchers in the area of applied microeconomic theory, where his main fields of interest are industrial organization, labor economics, and organizational economics. In these areas, he is best known for his work on learning and signaling in labor markets, the operation of durable goods markets, and the strategic use of tying and bundling in product markets.
In addition to his work in industrial organization, labor economics, and organizational economics, Waldman has also conducted research on a diverse set of topics including the role of expectational shocks in business cycle fluctuations, the role of tied transfers in family and government decision making, how the theory of natural selection can explain systematic errors in decision making, and the ramifications of limitedly rational behavior for market outcomes.
Waldman has published in many of the top journals in economics, including the American Economic Review, Journal of Political Economy, Quarterly Journal of Economics, Review of Economic Studies, Economic Journal, Rand Journal of Economics, Journal of Law and Economics, Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Journal of Economic Perspectives, and Journal of Labor Economics. He has also published a number of book chapters in highly regarded outlets, including chapters in the Handbook of Labor Economics, The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, the American Bar Association's Issues in Competition Law and Policy, and the Handbook of Organizational Economics.
In 2003, Waldman was the recipient of the Johnson Faculty Research Award. In 2008 he, along with coauthors Dennis W. Carlton and Joshua Gans, won the Robert F. Lanzillotti Prize for the Best Paper in Antitrust Economics presented at the 2008 International Industrial Organization Conference. In 2017 he, along with coauthor Jin-Hyuk Kim, won the RERCI Best Paper Award for the best paper published in the Review of Economic Research on Copyright Issues during 2015-2016. He has also received honors for his teaching including being nominated in 2010 for the School's Apple Teaching Award, receiving the AMBA Class of 2017 Core Faculty Teaching Award, and receiving the Gravitas Teaching Award from the Cornell-Tsinghua Dual Degree MBA Program Class of 2017.
Waldman received a Bachelor of Science in economics from MIT in 1977 and a PhD from the economics department at the University of Pennsylvania in 1982. Following a post-doctoral position at the University of California at Los Angeles in 1982-83, he was hired by the university as assistant professor in the department of economics. He was promoted by UCLA to associate professor with tenure in 1989. In 1991, he moved to Johnson as a full professor of economics. He was named to the Charles H. Dyson Chair in Management in 1997. From 2011 to 2015 Waldman's appointment at Cornell also included membership in the university's department of economics. Waldman has also visited Yale's School of Organization and Management and Chicago's Graduate School of Business, where he was the John M. Olin Visiting Professor during the 1997-98 academic year.
Waldman is listed in both the 3rd and 4th editions of Who's Who in Economics and in various editions of Marquis Who's Who in America, Marquis Who's Who in the World, Marquis Who's Who in Science and Engineering, and Marquis Who's Who in American Education.
During his 27 years at Cornell, Waldman has served both Johnson and the university in numerous capacities. He has chaired three different MBA curriculum reviews and has served as the chair of Johnson's Faculty Policy Committee multiple times. In October 2008, Waldman began a four-year term as director of the Institute for the Advancement of Economics at Cornell. He was appointed by then Acting Provost David Harris to lead the council in its work to improve and raise the profile of the economics discipline university-wide. During the 2009-2010 academic year Provost Kent Fuchs appointed Waldman to the university's Strategic Planning Advisory Council. This was an 8 member committee consisting of faculty drawn from the various colleges at Cornell. The committee drafted a long-term strategic plan for the university that identified the goals, strategies, tactics, and metrics that will define the Cornell of the future. During the 2010-2011 academic year Provost Fuchs appointed Waldman to be the chair of a university-wide Economics Reorganization Committee, which had the charge of formulating a plan for reorganizing and improving the economics community at Cornell. The university implemented the committee's plan on July 1, 2011.
In service to the discipline of economics and related areas, Waldman served as a co-editor at the Journal of Economic Perspectives from 2000 to 2006, served as an associate editor at the Quarterly Journal of Economics from 2000 to 2014, and since 2009 he has been an editor at the Journal of Labor Economics. He was also a member in 2004 of the American Economics Association Program Committee, in 2009 and 2013 a member of the International Industrial Organization Conference Program Committee, in 2013 a member of the Society of Labor Economists Program Committee, and in 2013 and 2017 a member of the (First and Second) Scientific Committee of the Product Lifetimes and the Environment Conference.
Waldman has also explored whether the exploding growth in autism diagnosis rates over the last few decades can be partially explained by the existence of an environmental trigger for autism that has become more prevalent over time. He is the lead author of "Autism Prevalence and Precipitation Rates in California, Oregon, and Washington Counties," which appears in the November 2008 issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine. This paper provides evidence consistent with the existence of an important environmental trigger for autism among genetically vulnerable children that is positively associated with precipitation. He is also the lead author of the 2006 National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper, titled "Does Television Cause Autism?," and the 2012 National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper, titled "Positive and Negative Mental Health Consequences of Early Childhood Television Watching." These papers provide evidence consistent with the specific environmental trigger being early childhood television viewing. Waldman plans to continue conducting research on this topic.
- Waldman, Michael. "Job Assignments, Signalling, and Efficiency" The RAND Journal of Economics. 15.2 (1984): 255-267
- Haltiwanger, John; Waldman, Michael. "Rational Expectations and the Limits of Rationality: An Analysis of Heterogeneity" American Economic Review. 75.3 (1985): 326-340
- Waldman, Michael. "A New Perspective on Planned Obsolescence" Quarterly Journal of Economics. 108.1 (1993): 273-283
- Gibbons, Robert; Waldman, Michael. "A Theory of Wage and Promotion Dynamics Inside Firms" Quarterly Journal of Economics. 114.4 (1999): 1321-1358
- Carlton, Dennis; Waldman, Michael. "The Strategic Use of Tying to Preserve and Create Market Power in Evolving Industries" The RAND Journal of Economics. 33.2 (2002): 194-220
- Waldman, Michael. "Durable Goods Theory for Real World Markets" Journal of Economic Perspectives. 17.1 (2003): 131-154
- Gibbons, Robert; Waldman, Michael. "Task-Specific Human Capital" American Economic Review. 94.2 (2004): 203-207
- Waldman, Michael; Nicholson, Sean; Adilov, Nodir; Williams, John. "Autism Prevalence and Precipitation Rates in California, Oregon, and Washington Counties" Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine. 162.11 (2008): 1026-1034
- DeVaro, Jed; Waldman, Michael. "The Signaling Role of Promotions: Further Theory and Empirical Evidence" Journal of Labor Economics. 30.1 (2012): 91-147
- Cooper, Kristen; Schneider, Henry; Waldman, Michael. "Limited Rationality and the Strategic Environment: Further Theory and Experimental Evidence" Games and Economic Behavior. 106 (2017): 188-208
Awards and Honors
- Faculty Research Award (2003) Cornell University, Johnson Graduate School of Management
- Robert F. Lanzillotti Prize for the Best Paper in Antitrust Economics (2008) International Industrial Organization Conference
- Winner of the Best Paper Award (2016) Review of Economic Research on Copyright Issues
- Gravitas Teaching Award (2017) Cornell-Tsinghua Dual Degree MBA Program, Class of 2017
- Core Faculty Award (2017) AMBA Class of 2017
- NCC 5020 - Microeconomics for Management
- PhD University of Pennsylvania, 1982
- BS Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1977