Avner Ben-Ner

Professor, Carlson School of Management

Affiliated Professor, Law School; Affiliated Professor, Center for the Study of Political Psychology;

Member, Graduate Faculty in Applied Economics

University of Minnesota

(The views and opinions expressed in this page are strictly those of the page author. The contents of this page have not been reviewed or approved by the University of Minnesota.)


Avner Ben-Ner studies how organizations are designed and how they perform in relation to ownership type, workforce composition, technology, and other variables. He also investigates various individual and group behaviors relative to individuals' social preferences and cognition and institutional arrangements. His work spans theory and empirics, using a variety of methods and data sources. 

Current research projects include investigating the effects of technology and automation on work, employment, skills, and division of labor and specialization in different occupations using job postings and other data sources. Another project examines the process of polarization in society, developing theoretical foundations for understanding how individuals' views evolve over time. He also empirically studies workers' well-being in firms with different ownership structures.

Avner is a professor in the Center for Human Resources and Labor Studies (formerly the Industrial Relations Center) in the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota. He has served as Director of the Center, Ph.D. coordinator and academic director of the MA program. He is also affiliated with the Law School, the Center for the Study of Political Psychology and the Graduate Faculty in Applied Economics, at the University of Minnesota, and is Senior Fellow, Rutgers University School of Management and Labor Relations Institute for the Study of Employee Ownership and Profit Sharing. He has been a regular or visiting professor at Yale University, University of California at Davis, University of Haifa, Stony Brook University (where he received his Ph.D. in economics), Tel-Aviv University and Central European University (Budapest). He has also taught short courses in Italy, China, S. Korea, India, Poland and France. 

He has served on the University of Minnesota Faculty Consultative Committee (2011-14) and the Carlson School of Management Faculty Consultative Committee (Chair, 2017-18). He was President of the Association for Comparative Economic Studies (2006-7) and Program Chair and Chair of the Public and Nonprofit Division of the Academy of Management (2010-13), and is co-editor of Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics (2016-).

Journal articles. Avner has published in the American Economic Review, Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Boston Law Review, Economica, California Management Review, Industrial Relations, Industrial and Labor Relations Review, Journal of Comparative Economics, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, Journal of Economic Perspectives, Journal of Economic Psychology, Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, Nonprofit Management and Leadership, Personality and Individual Differences, PLOS ONE,Yale Law Journal, and others. He also published chapters in many edited books.

Four of his articles were reprinted in the Edward Elgar International Library of Critical Writings in Economics in 1996, 2004, 2013 and 2017.

Books. He coauthored with John Michael Montias and Egon Neuberger Comparative Economics (Harwood, 1994, 2013) and co-edited with Helmut Anheier The Study of the Nonprofit Enterprise: Theories and Approaches (Kluwer, 2003), with Louis Putterman Economics, Values, and Organization (Cambridge, 1998/2001/2005), and with Benedetto Gui The Nonprofit Sector in the Mixed Economy (Michigan, 1993, 2016) 

Research with direct practical implications

Treadmill workstations and productivity. Listen Read

Diversity effects on performance (soccer Bundesliga). Watch Read

Decentralization and Localization of Production: The Organizational and Economic Consequences of Additive Manufacturing.  Watch  Read

 A proposal for nonprofit governance law

Employee ownership is a complex and yet very simple idea

Good question!

Why study Human Resources and Industrial Relations (HRIR) at the Carlson School at the University of Minnesota?