26 Sep 2023

New Faculty Profiles: Alex Chan


HBS faculty comprises more than 300 scholars and practitioners who bring leading-edge research, extensive experience, and deep insights into the classroom, to organizations, and to leaders across the globe. We asked new faculty at HBS about their background, their new roles, and their interests.

Alex Chan, assistant professor, Negotiation, Organizations and Markets

What is your educational background?
I got my PhD from Stanford University in 2023. Before that I held a range of roles with companies like McKinsey, the Economist, Liberty Mutual, and UnitedHealth/Optum. I obtained an MPH from Harvard University while I was working.

What’s your area of research and what led you to it?
I study how market failures occur, how such failures lead to disparities across demographic groups, and how to design incentives and engineer markets to remedy these market failures. I design experiments and economic studies to identify the causes and consequences of discrimination and diversity in business, education, and healthcare. I also study and practice market design to evaluate how the design of health policies, markets, and healthcare organizations affects allocation outcomes. As a market designer, I worked with companies and healthcare organizations to launch actual marketplaces (e.g., a liver exchange to find life-saving transplantation opportunities in Pakistan).

What will you be teaching?
I will be teaching Negotiation in the EC.

What would you be doing if you weren’t an academic?
I have my dream job now. When I retire from academia, perhaps I will run a café that also sells rare books and serves Ostfriesentee.

Where are you from?
I am from Hong Kong.

What is something you like to do outside of your academic work?
Trains, soccer (playing and following Bundesliga/Premier League/USWNT), collecting rare books, cats, and Cantonese cuisine.

What’s your favorite book, movie, or piece of art?
I cannot pick a favorite, but I can share a few that I like a lot. Who Gets What – and Why, by Alvin Roth is the book that got me interested in market design. A novel I loved growing up is Legends of the Condor Heroes (射鵰英雄傳) by the late Louis Cha from Hong Kong (who, IMHO, should have won the Nobel Prize in Literature). If you want great poetry, I recommend The Selected Poems of Wang Wei (王維) and one of the collected poems books by Wislawa Szymborska. Another book that I have been recommending to people is Career and Family by Claudia Goldin.

Post a Comment

Comments must be on-topic and civil in tone (with no name calling or personal attacks). Any promotional language or urls will be removed immediately. Your comment may be edited for clarity and length.