FacultyFaculty/Author Profile

Josh Lerner

Harvard Business School

Boston, MA, USA

Josh Lerner is the Jacob H. Schiff Professor of Investment Banking at Harvard Business School, with a joint appointment in the Finance and the Entrepreneurial Management Areas. He graduated from Yale College with a Special Divisional Major that combined physics with the history of technology. Mr. Lerner worked for several years on issues concerning technological innovation and public policy at the Brookings Institution, for a public-private task force in Chicago, and on Capitol Hill. He then earned a Ph.D. from Harvard’s Economics Department.

Much of Mr. Lerner’s research focuses on the structure and role of venture capital and private equity organizations. (This research is collected in three books, The Venture Capital Cycle, The Money of Invention, and the recent Boulevard of Broken Dreams.) He also examines policies towards intellectual property protection, particularly patents, and how they impact firm strategies in high-technology industries. (The research is discussed in the book Innovation and Its Discontents.) Mr. Lerner founded, raised funding for, and organizes two groups at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER): Entrepreneurship and Innovation Policy and the Economy. He is a member of a number of other NBER groups and serves as co-editor of their publication, Innovation Policy and the Economy.

In the 1993–1994 academic year, Mr. Lerner introduced an elective course for second-year M.B.A.’s on private equity finance. In recent years, “Venture Capital and Private Equity” has consistently been one of the most popular elective courses at Harvard Business School. (The course materials are collected in Venture Capital and Private Equity: A Casebook, now in its fourth edition, and the forthcoming textbook Private Equity, Venture Capital, and the Financing of Entrepreneurship.) He also teaches a doctoral course on entrepreneurship and in the Owners-Presidents-Managers Program, and organizes an annual executive course on private equity in Boston and Beijing. Mr. Lerner has led an international team of scholars in a multi-year study of the economic impact of private equity for the World Economic Forum. He is the winner of the 2010 Global Entrepreneurship Research Award.


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