Bentley MacLeod

Lecturer with Rank of Professor, Economics and Public Affairs
Office Phone
214 Robertson Hall

W. Bentley MacLeod is Sami Mnaymneh Professor of Economics, Professor of International and Public Affairs, and an affiliated Law Faculty at Columbia University in the City of New York. Secretary-Treasurer (President 2021-2022), American Law and Economics Association, Past President of the Society of Institutional and Organizational Economics, and Fellow of the Econometric Society and the Society of Labor Economists. He is a specialist in organizational economics, and its application to problems in education, health and employment.

His recent publications include "The Big Sort: College Reputation and Labor Market Outcomes, joint with Evan Riehl, Juan Saavedrea and Miguel Urquiola, American Economics Journal: Applied Economics, 2017, Diagnosis and Unnecessary Procedure Use: Evidence from C-sections, with J. Currie, Journal of Labor Economics, 2017, Human Capital: The missing link between behavior and rational choice, Labour Economics, 2016, "Reputation and School Choice," American Economic Review, 2015, (with M. Urquiola); “Institutions and Contract Enforcement,” Journal of Labor Economics, 2015 (with A. Falk and D. Huffman); “Optimal Contracting in the Shadow of the Law,” Rand Journal of Economics, 2009 (with S. Chakravarty); “Performance Pay and Wage Inequality”, Quarterly Journal of Economics, 2009 (joint with T. Lemieux and D. Parent); “First Do Not Harm: Tort Reform and Birth Outcomes”, Quarterly Journal of Economics (2008) (with J. Currie); “Reputations, Relationships and Contract Enforcement”, Journal of Economics Literature (2007); and "Optimal Contracting with Subjective Evaluation," American Economic Review (2003).

He is the recipient of the 2002 H. Gregg Lewis prize awarded by the Society of Labor Economists for his article "Worker Cooperation and the Ratchet" with H. Lorne Carmichael. His teaching career begun with a two year stint teaching mathematics and physics at Okundi Secondary School in Nigeria, an experience that led to his interest in economics in order to understand the large variations national economic performance. After completing his PhD in economics, he has taught at Queen's University, Université de Montréal, Boston College, University of Southern California, California Institute of Technology and Princeton University, before coming to Columbia University. He has held one year visiting positions at CORE, Belgium, IAE, Barcelona, Russell Sage Foundation, Princeton University, the California Institute of Technology and The Institute for Advanced Studies, Princeton, NJ. He was Program Director for Personnel and Behavioral Economics, IZA, Bonn 2003-2007.

Bentley holds a B.A. (with distinction) and an M.Sc. in mathematics from Queen's University, Kingston, Canada and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. He is married to Janet Currie, and has four (perfect!) children - Raisa, Gabriella, River and Ben.