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 relationship to ownership type, workforce composition, technology and other variables. He also investigates individual and group behavior relative to social preferences and cognition. His work spans theory and empirics, using a variety of methods and data sources.

Current research projects include an investigation of the effects of additive manufacturing (3D printing) effects on work, skills and division of labor and specialization along the value chain, using job postings data. Another project examines behavioral aspects of principal-agent relationships, using experiments. A third project analyzes the role of the nonprofit sector and civil society on the formation of identities and views, and social polarization, building a conceptual framework and collecting data to test the theory.

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 other journals. He also published chapters in many edited books.

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

Books. He coedited 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) and coauthored with John Michael Montias and Egon Neuberger Comparative Economics (Harwood, 1994).

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

Recent presentations

Keynote at "Transformation of Cooperative Governance" - University of Renes, June 2021, Video (including link to slides)

"Body of Work" Presentation slides Employee Owned Firms: Why and How? School of Management and Labor Relations, Rutgers University, January 2020, Video

Good question!

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