J. Gunnar Trumbull

Philip Caldwell Professor of Business Administration

Gunnar Trumbull is a Professor at the Harvard Business School, where he teaches in the Business, Government, and the International Economy area. Trumbull graduated from Harvard College in 1991 and earned a Ph.D. in political science from M.I.T. in 2000. He joined the Harvard Business School faculty in 2001, where his research focuses on European political economy.

Trumbull's core interest is with consumer politics. He is author of Consumer Credit in Postwar America and France: The Political Construction of Economic Interest (Cambridge University Press, 2014), which explores the politics and business of consumer lending over the 20th century. In it, he argues that the benign practices of early U.S. retail lenders led Americans to see consumer lending as a viable response to growing inequality. His other works include Strength in Numbers: The Political Power of Weak Interests (Harvard University Press, 2012), in which he argues that diffuse groups like consumers are more powerful, and industry less influential, than we commonly assume; and Consumer Capitalism: Politics, Product Markets, and Firm Strategy in France and Germany (Cornell University Press, 2006), which explores the political roots of consumer protection policies that emerged in France and Germany beginning in the 1970s.

Trumbull also conducts research on technology policy. His book Silicon and the State: French Innovation Policy in the Internet Age (Brookings Press, 2004) traces France's policy response in the late-1990s to the apparent success of the Silicon Valley model of technology innovation.