Assistant Professor of Business Administration
Pian Shu is an Assistant Professor of Business Administration in the Technology and Operations Management Unit. She teaches the Technology and Operations Management course in the MBA required curriculum.
Professor Shu studies innovation, talent allocation, and productivity from a labor economics perspective. She is currently examining the accumulation of inventive human capital among innovators and the impact of economic conditions on their early career choices.
A recipient of the Kauffmann Dissertation Fellowship in Entrepreneurship, Professor Shu earned her Ph.D. in economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She graduated from Colgate University with a BA in mathematics and mathematical economics.
Professor Shu’s research focuses on the empirical analysis of factors that affect innovation and productivity at the micro level, with a particular emphasis on the human capital accumulation of innovators and the impact of early career choices on long-term productivity. She contributes to the field by taking a labor economics perspective and investigating the decisions of individuals.
Keywords: Innovation and Invention;
Innovators’ Accumulation of Human Capital
Professor Shu has studied how short-term economic fluctuations affect the long-term innovative output of the economy by analyzing individual innovators’ accumulation of human capital. Using a newly constructed data set on the patenting history of all individuals who obtained bachelor’s degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) between 1980 and 2005, she has found that cohorts graduating during booms produce significantly fewer patents over the subsequent two decades than those who do not. Initial economic conditions do not affect inventors’ long-term occupational affiliation, suggesting that the main differences lie in their long-term level of inventive human capital.