Josh Lerner

Jacob H. Schiff Professor of Investment Banking
Unit Head, Entrepreneurial Management

Josh Lerner is the Jacob H. Schiff Professor of Investment Banking at Harvard Business School, and head of the Entrepreneurial Management unit. He graduated from Yale College with a special divisional major that combined physics with the history of technology.  He worked for several years on issues concerning technological innovation and public policy at the Brookings Institution, for a public-private task force in Chicago, and on Capitol Hill.  He then earned a Ph.D. from Harvard's Economics Department.

Josh Lerner is the Jacob H. Schiff Professor of Investment Banking at Harvard Business School, and head of the Entrepreneurial Management unit. He graduated from Yale College with a special divisional major that combined physics with the history of technology.  He worked for several years on issues concerning technological innovation and public policy at the Brookings Institution, for a public-private task force in Chicago, and on Capitol Hill.  He then earned a Ph.D. from Harvard's Economics Department. 

Much of his research focuses on venture capital and private equity organizations.  (This research is collected in three books, The Venture Capital Cycle, The Money of Invention, and Boulevard of Broken Dreams.)  He also examines policies on innovation and how they impact firm strategies.  (That research is discussed in the books Innovation and Its Discontents, The Comingled Code, and the Architecture of Innovation.)  He co-directs the National Bureau of Economic Research’s Productivity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship Program and serves as co-editor of their publication, Innovation Policy and the Economy. He founded and runs the Private Capital Research Institute, a nonprofit devoted to encouraging access to data and research about venture capital and private equity, and serves as vice-chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on the Future of Investing.

In the 1993-1994 academic year, he introduced an elective course for second-year MBAs.  Over the past two decades, “Venture Capital and Private Equity” has consistently been one of the largest elective courses at Harvard Business School.  (The course materials are collected in Venture Capital and Private Equity: A Casebook, now in its fifth edition, and the textbook Venture Capital, Private Equity, and the Financing of Entrepreneurship.)  He also teaches a doctoral course on entrepreneurship and chairs the Owners-Presidents-Managers Program and executive courses on private equity. 

Among other recognitions, he is the winner of the Swedish government’s Global Entrepreneurship Research Award.  He has recently been named one of the 100 most influential people in private equity over the past decade by Private Equity International magazine and one of the ten most influential academics in the institutional investing world by Asset International's Chief Investment Officer magazine.

  1. Dively Fellowship: Received the 1989-1990 Dively Fellowship from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

  2. Pre-Doctoral Fellowship: Received a 1989-1991 Pre-Doctoral Fellowship from the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

  3. Pre-Doctoral Fellowship: Received a 1990-1991 Pre-Doctoral Fellowship from the Consortium on Competitiveness and Cooperation at the Haas School of Business, University of California at Berkeley.

  4. Berol Faculty Fellow: Named a Berol Faculty Fellow, Harvard Business School, 1996-1997.

  5. Faculty Research Fellow, Productivity and Output Measurement Program: Named a Faculty Research Fellow in the Productivity and Output Measurement Program of the National Bureau of Economic Research, 1996-1999.

  6. Faculty Research Fellow, Corporate Finance Program: Named a Faculty Research Fellow in the Corporate Finance Program at the National Bureau of Economic Research, 1998-1999.

  7. Research Associate, Productivity and Output Measurement and Corporate Finance Programs: Named a Research Associate in the Productivity and Output Measurement and Corporate Finance Programs at the National Bureau of Economic Research in 1999.

  8. All Star Paper Award: Received the 2002 All Star Paper Award from the Journal of Financial Economics for “Venture Capitalists and the Decision to Go Public” (1994).

  9. NASDAQ Award for Best Paper on Capital Formation: Winner of the 2003 Western Finance Association’s NASDAQ Award for Best Paper on Capital Formation for "Transaction Structures in Developing Countries: The Case of Private Equity" (with Antoinette Schoar).

  10. Selected as one of the best Business and Economics Books of the Year: Innovation and Its Discontents: How Our Broken Patent System Is Endangering Innovation and Progress, and What To Do About It (Princeton University Press, 2004), with Adam Jaffe, was selected by The Economist as one of the Best Business and Economics Books of the Year.

  11. Named one of the 50 most influential people in intellectual property: Named One of the 50 Most Influential People in Intellectual Property by Managing Intellectual Property magazine in 2005.

  12. Smith Breeden Prize. Best Paper: Nominated for the Smith Breeden Prize for Outstanding Paper published in the Journal of Finance in 2003, 2004, and 2005.

  13. City of Venice Award for Intellectual Property: Received Honorable Mention for the City of Venice Award for Intellectual Property in 2007.

  14. Technische Universita¨t Mu¨nchen. Doctorate, Honoris Causa: Awarded a Doctorate Honoris Causa from the Technical University of Munich in 2009.

  15. Fama-DFA Prize for the Best Paper Published in the Journal of Financial Economics in the Areas of Capital Markets and Asset Pricing: Second Place Winner of the 2009 Fama-DFA Prize for the Best Paper Published in the Journal of Financial Economics in the Areas of Capital Markets and Asset Pricing for his paper with Paul Gompers, Anna Kovner, and David Scharfstein, "Venture Capital Investment Cycles: The Impact of Public Markets" (May 2008).

  16. PROSE Award for Excellence in Business, Finance & Management: Winner of the 2009 PROSE Award for Professional and Scholarly Excellence in the Business, Finance, and Management category for Boulevard of Broken Dreams: Why Public Efforts to Boost Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital Have Failed and What to Do About It (Princeton University Press, 2009). This award is given by the Professional and Scholarly Publishing Division of the Association of American Publishers to recognize landmark works in a field of scholarship.

  17. ECGI Fellow: Elected a Fellow of the European Corporate Governance Institute in 2010.

  18. Axiom Business Book Award. Gold Medal in Entrepreneurship: Winner of the 2010 Axiom Business Book Award Gold Medal for the Best Book on Entrepreneurship for Boulevard of Broken Dreams: Why Public Efforts to Boost Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital Have Failed and What to Do About It (Princeton University Press, 2009).

  19. Global Award for Entrepreneurship Research: Winner of the 2010 Global Award for Entrepreneurship, given by the Swedish Entrepreneurship Forum, the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth, and Sweden's Research Institute of Industrial Economics, for his pioneering research into venture capital and venture capital-backed entrepreneurship.

  20. Named one of the 100 most influential people in private equity over the past decade: Named one of the 100 most influential people in private equity over the past decade by Private Equity International Magazine, 2012.

  21. Named one of the ten most influential academics in the institutional investing world: Named one of the ten most influential academics in the institutional investing world by Asset International's Chief Investment Officer Magazine, 2013.

  22. Excellence in Refereeing Award: Received the Excellence in Refereeing Award, American Economic Review, 2013.

  23. Vice Chair, Global Agenda Council on Future of Investing: Appointed Vice Chair, Global Agenda Council on Future of Investing, World Economic Forum, 2014-2016.