Shawn Cole is a professor in the Finance Unit at Harvard Business School, where he teaches and conducts research on financial services and social enterprise topics.
Much of his research examines corporate and household finance in emerging markets, with a focus on banking, microfinance, insurance, and the relationship between financial development and economic growth. He has worked in China, India, Indonesia, South Africa, and Vietnam. He is an affiliate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, MIT’s Jameel Poverty Action Lab, and the Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development.
He has taught FIN1 and FIN2 in the core curriculum, as well various executive education courses, and currently teaches in the PhD development sequence in the department of Economics.
Before joining the Harvard Business School, Professor Cole worked at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in the economic research department. He currently serves on the Boston Federal Reserve's Community Development Research Advisory Council, and has served as an external advisor to the Gates Foundation, and as the chair of the endowment management committee of the Telluride Association, a non-profit educational organization.
He received a Ph.D. in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2005, where he was an NSF and Javits Fellow, and an A.B. in Economics and German Literature from Cornell University. He received the 2015 "Shin Research Excellence Award" for his work on insurance.