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Paul Oyer

PaulOyer
Fred H. Merrill Professor of Economics
Academic Area: 
Economics

Research Statement

Paul Oyer studies the economics of organizations and human resource practices. His work has looked at the use of broad-based stock option plans, how firms use non-cash benefits, how firms respond to limits on their ability to displace workers, and how labor market conditions affect their entire careers when MBAs and PhD economists leave school. Oyer’s current projects include studies of how firms identify and recruit workers in high-skill and competitive labor markets, with a focus on the markets for newly minted lawyers and MBAs.

Research Interests

  • Labor Economics
  • Personnel Economics
  • Incentives
  • Matching Firms and Workers

Bio

Paul Oyer is The Fred H. Merrill Professor of Economics at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. He is also a Research Associate with the National Bureau of Economics and the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Labor Economics.

Paul does research in the field of personnel economics. In addition, he is the author of two books published in 2014. “Everything I Ever Needed to Know About Economics I Learned from Online Dating” is an entertaining and non-technical explanation of numerous key ideas in microeconomics using examples from online dating, as well as labor markets and many product markets. “Roadside MBA” (with Michael Mazzeo and Scott Schaefer) is a non-technical Strategy guide for small businesses based on the authors’ extensive travel around the US interviewing small business owners.

Before moving to the GSB in 2000, Paul was on the faculty of the Kellogg School at Northwestern University. In his pre-academic life, he worked for the management consulting firm of Booz, Allen, and Hamilton, as well as for the high technology firms 3Com Corporation and ASK Computer Systems. He holds a BA in math and computer science from Middlebury College, an MBA from Yale University, and an MA and PhD in economics from Princeton University. When not teaching or doing research, Paul runs, swims, skis, hangs out with his two college-age children, and walks his flat-coated retriever.

Academic Degrees

  • PhD in Economics, Princeton University, 1996
  • MA in Economics, Princeton University, 1994
  • MBA, Yale University School of Management, 1989
  • BA, Middlebury College, Mathematics and Computer Science, 1985

Academic Appointments

  • Associate Professor of Economics, Stanford GSB, 2002-2009.
  • Professor of Economics, Stanford GSB, 2009-2011
  • Assistant Professor of Economics, Stanford GSB, 2000-2002.
  • Assistant Professor of Management and Strategy, J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University, 1996-2000
  • Faculty Research Fellow, Institute for Policy Research, Northwestern University, 1998-2000
  • Affiliate, Center for the Study of Industrial Organization, Northwestern University, 2000

Professional Experience

  • Research Associate, National Bureau of Economic Research, 2003-present
  • Market Analyst, ASK Computer Systems, Mountain View, CA, 1991-1992
  • Product Manager, 3Com Corporation, Santa Clara, CA, 1990-1991
  • Production Planner, 3Com Corporation, Santa Clara, CA, 1989-1990
  • Research Associate, Booz Allen and Hamilton, Inc., New York, NY, 1985-1987

Awards and Honors

  • Lacob Family Faculty Fellow, Stanford GSB, 2013-2014
  • Fred H. Merrill Professor of Economics, Stanford GSB, 2011-present
  • Louise and Claude N. Rosenberg, Jr. Faculty Scholar, 2008-2009
  • Morgridge Faculty Fellow in Entrepreneurship, Graduate School of Business, Stanford University, 2000-2001

Publications

Journal Articles

Edward Lazear, Paul Oyer. The Handbook of Organizational Economics. Princeton University Press, 2013, Pages 479-519.
Paul Oyer, Scott Schaefer. Handbook of Labor Economics, Volume 4B. Great Britain: North Holland, 2011, Pages 1769-1823.
Paul Oyer. Journal of Finance. February 2008, Vol. 63, Issue 6, Pages 2601-2628.
Paul Oyer, Scott Schaefer . Journal of Financial Intermediation. 2006, Vol. 15, Issue 4, Pages 511-534.
Paul Oyer. Journal of Economic Perspectives. 2006, Vol. 20, Issue 3, Pages 143-160.
Michael Greenstone, Paul Oyer, Annette Vissing-Jorgensen. Quarterly Journal of Economics. 2006, Vol. 121, Issue 2, Pages 399-460.
Paul Oyer, Scott Schaefer. Journal of Financial Economics. 2005, Vol. 76, Issue 1, Pages 99-133.
Paul Oyer. Journal of Finance. August 2004, Vol. 59, Issue 4, Pages 1619-1650.
Paul Oyer, Scott Schaefer. American Economic Review. June 2002, Vol. 92, Issue 3, Pages 683-705.
Paul Oyer. Journal of Labor Economics. July 2000, Vol. 18, Issue 3, Pages 405-426.
Kevin F. Hallock , Paul Oyer. Journal of Corporate Finance. December 1999, Vol. 5, Issue 4, Pages 303-321.
Paul Oyer. Quarterly Journal of Economics. February 1998, Vol. 113, Issue 1, Pages 149-185.

Books

Michael Mazzeo, Paul Oyer, Scott Schaefer Business Plus, June 10, 2014.

Working Papers

Courses Taught

Degree Courses

2014-15

We will analyze markets that match people to other parties. We will spend one day each on the job market, higher education, and life partners. We will investigate the following issues:n- Can we expect a competitive environment to lead to an...

Doctoral Practicum in Teaching

Doctoral Practicum in Research

This seminar will examine applications of labor economics to business issues and firms' practices. Material will include both theoretical and empirical work, and the syllabus will range from classics in Personnel Economics to current (unpublished...

This course is elected as soon as a student is ready to begin research for the dissertation, usually shortly after admission to candidacy. To register, a student must obtain permission from the faculty member who is willing to supervise the...

This course will develop Business Strategy frameworks, some of which will be familiar from the core Strategy class and others of which will be new, and apply them to small businesses. Some of the businesses we will look at will be established...

2013-14

This course is an introduction to Microeconomics, focusing on microeconomic concepts relevant to managerial decision making. Topics include demand and supply, cost structure, price discrimination, perfect competition, externalities, and the...

This is the base version of D&D. This course introduces the fundamental concepts and techniques for analyzing risk and formulating sound decisions in uncertain environments. Approximately half of the course focuses on probability and its...

This course introduces the basic concepts of strategic management, focusing on their application in a semi-globalized world, where international borders are less significant than in the past but still very important. There are texts that will be...

We will visit and analyze four local small businesses. (I hope we will visit all four companies but, when it makes more sense logistically, we may meet the manager at the GSB). The companies will vary from very small companies with limited growth...

2012-13

We will visit and analyze four local small businesses. (I hope we will visit all four companies but, when it makes more sense logistically, we may meet the manager at the GSB). The companies will vary from very small companies with limited growth...

2011-12

This course covers microeconomic concepts relevant to managerial decision making. Topics include: demand and supply analysis; consumer demand theory; production theory; price discrimination; perfect competition; partial equilibrium welfare...

This course will be divided into two halves. The first half of the course will provide an introduction to Statistics. We will cover the very basics (calculating means, standard deviations, etc.), then work our way up to hypothesis testing and...

This course examines fundamental issues of general management and leadership within an organization. You will learn about setting an organization's strategic direction, aligning structure to implement strategy, and leading individuals within the...

We will visit and analyze five local small businesses. (I hope we will visit all five companies but, when it makes more sense logistically, we may meet the manager at the GSB). The companies will vary from very small companies with limited growth...

2010-11

Many managers and organizations now recognize that a critical source of competitive advantage often comes not from having the most ingenious product design, the best marketing strategy, or the most state-of-the-art production technology, but...

This seminar will examine applications of labor economics to business issues and firms' practices. Material will include both theoretical and empirical work, and the syllabus will range from classics in Personnel Economics to current (unpublished...

Conferences, Talks, and Speaking Engagements

Video: How Economics Can Help You Find Love Online
Paul Oyer explains how Nobel Prize-winning economic theories can help you find true love online in his book "Everything I Ever Needed to Know About Economics I Learned from Online Dating."
Audio: The Economics of Online Dating
Paul Oyer, Stanford economist and the author of "Everything I Ever Needed to Know About Economics I Learned from Online Dating," explains the marketplace of online love.

Service to the Profession

  • Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Labor Economics, November 2012-present
  • Editor, Journal of Labor Economics, 2007-2012

Insights by Stanford Business

October 15, 2014
Three economists hit the road to learn about America's small businesses. Here's what they discovered.
June 10, 2014
In an excerpt from their new book, three economists share what they learned about small businesses in America.
January 7, 2014
In an excerpt from his new book, an economist explains why it’s important to show you really mean what you say.
July 1, 2010
An economist finds that random factors play a large role in determining the kinds of jobs MBAs take upon graduation.
February 1, 2004
Research shows that CEOs promoted from within are much more likely to retain the senior management team.
August 1, 2001
A study says they're lousy motivators, but can serve as salary buffers to keep workers from leaving when compensation rises in the labor market.