Anat Keinan

Assistant Professor of Business Administration


Anat Keinan is an Assistant Professor in the Marketing Unit at Harvard Business School. She received her Ph.D. in Marketing, with distinction, from Columbia Business School. At HBS, she teaches the core marketing course to first-year MBA students.

Professor Keinan is the winner of the 2011 JCR Ferber Award. Her research on consumer behavior has been published in the leading marketing and psychology journals. Her work has been chosen by the New York Times as one of the "Best Ideas of 2006," and as a finalist for the Journal of Consumer Research 2009 best paper award. Her research has been covered by hundreds of print, electronic, and broadcast media outlets, including, CNN, CBS News, CNBC, ABC News, The Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek, Financial Times, Yahoo! Finance, The Boston Globe, TIME, Slate Magazine, Wired Magazine, Associated Press, and United Press International.

Professor Keinan's research interests include Consumer Self-Control, Regret, Luxury Marketing, Experiential Marketing, Branding, Fairness and Ethics in Marketing, and the Consumption of Counterfeited and Pirated Products. One stream of research examines consumer's regrets and shows that in the long run, choosing work over play leads to regrets about having missed out on the pleasures of life. Her research demonstrates that while in the short-term it appears preferable to act responsibly and choose virtue over vice, over time such righteous behavior generates increasing regret. Her research further demonstrates that anticipating distant-future regret may help individuals who chronically deprive themselves of hedonism to realize and remedy this tendency.

Professor Keinan has also examined why consumers desire unusual and extreme consumption experiences that may actually be unpleasant and even aversive. Examples include consumers who voluntarily stay at ice hotels, where they sleep on beds made of ice in freezing temperatures, and consumers who eat at restaurants serving peculiar foods, such as bacon ice cream and chocolate truffles with vinegar and anchovies. Her research demonstrates that such preferences represent a broader phenomenon, whereby consumers derive utility from collecting memorable experiences, "checking off" items on their "experiential check list," and building their "experiential CV". 

A native of Israel, she received a B.A. in Economics and Communication and an MBA (Dean's List and Magna cum Laude) from Tel-Aviv University.  In addition to her academic background, Anat has served in the Intelligence Corps within the IDF, worked as an advertising manager for an Israeli financial services corporation, and served on the Board of Directors for an employment placement agency in Israel.


  1. The Poor Payoff of Pleasure Postponed

    A need to feel efficient, and a tendency to feel guilty when we do something “just for fun,” may be universally human. But the Israeli-born Keinan says productivity-obsessed Americans take this to an extreme, viewing pleasurable pastimes as wasteful, irresponsible, and even immoral. Keinan and Columbia Business School professor Ran Kivetz call this hyperopia—the habit of overestimating the benefits one will receive in the future from making responsible decisions now. They write that this phenomenon—the name, drawn from ophthalmology, means “farsightedness”—works to our detriment by driving people “to underconsume precisely those products and experiences that they enjoy the most.”