Aldo Musacchio

Associate Professor of Business Administration (Leave of Absence)

Aldo Musacchio has been in the faculty of HBS since 2004. He is currently an associate professor in the Business, Government, and International Economy Unit (BGIE) and a Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER).

Professor Musacchio’s first research projects focused on how companies can adopt corporate governance practices that protect investors in relatively adverse legal and institutional environments. His book, Experiments in Financial Democracy (Cambridge University Press, 2009) studies the mechanisms Brazilian firms used to follow high corporate governance standards before 1950, when the legal protections for investors were relatively weak. He argues that companies are not trapped in the legal systems in which they operate. They can overcome their institutional environments through better practices and by designing bylaws that compensate for the weak legal environment.

Professor Musacchio’s current research project with Professor Sergio Lazzarini, of Insper in Brazil, looks at the new ways in which states intervene in the economy. They are writing a book manuscript, tentatively entitled Leviathan in Business, that examines the new forms of state capitalism. Among other things, the book contains chapters on the effects of having the state as a minority shareholder, the role of development banks in capital formation, the importance of selecting well CEOs of state-owned enterprises (SOEs), and analyzing whether listing SOEs is enough to tie the governments hands, among others.

Finally, Professor Musacchio is also developing a series of cases and articles looking at best practices in state-owned enterprises. The objective of this research project is to provide lessons to improve the performance of large state-owned companies, especially in contexts where governments face political constraints to privatize such companies in full or in part, or where managers of state-owned enterprises cannot freely hire and fire workers or charge market rates for their services or products.

Aldo Musacchio has a B.A. in economics (with highest honors) from ITAM, in Mexico, and a Ph. D. in Economic History of Latin America from Stanford University. He is a faculty associate at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs and a member of the Brazil Studies Committee and the Mexican Studies Committee, all at Harvard University. In 2012, he won the First Prize of the Manuel Espinosa Yglesias Prize for his research on foreign banks in Mexico (together with Stephen Haber) and was awarded the 2012 Prize for Professiona/Academic Meirt by the Alumni Association of ITAM (EX-ITAM). In 2007 he was selected as one of the “30 most promising professionals in their thirties (30 promesas en los treintas)” by Mexican business magazine Expansion. Musacchio is a member of the board of trustees of LASPAU: Academic and Professional Programs for the Americas, a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing higher education in the Americas. Aldo Musacchio obtained a B.A. in Economics with highest honors from ITAM in Mexico City. He lives with his wife in the South End, Boston, Massachusetts.

  1. Gerry Feldman Prize for the Best Research Article Published by a Young Scholar: Winner of the 2012 Gerry Feldman Prize for the Best Research Article Published by Young Scholars in the Financial History Review during 2010–2011, sponsored by the European Association of Banking and Financial History, for the paper with André C. Martínez Fritscher, "Endowments, Fiscal Federalism, and the Cost of Capital for States: Evidence from Brazil, 1891-1930" (April 2010).

  2. Manuel Espinosa Yglesias Prize: Winner of the 2012 Manuel Espinosa Yglesias Prize for the best paper or book on banking, awarded by the Centro de Estudios Espinosa Yglesias, for the paper with Stephen Haber, “These Are the Good Old Days: Foreign Entry and the Mexican Banking System."

  3. Professional Merit Award, Academic Sector: Winner of the 2012 Academic Merit Award from the Alumni Association of the Instituto Tecnologico Autonomo de Mexico.

  4. Special Conference Rio Best Presentation Prize: Winner of the Prize for the Best Paper Presented at the Strategic Management Society Special Conference in 2011 for his paper with Sergio G. Lazzarini, “Leviathan as a Minority Shareholder: BNDES’ Equity Purchases and Firm Performance in Brazil, 1995–2003” (Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 11–073, January 2011.)