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Michael Hiscox

Michael Hiscox

Michael Hiscox

Political Science
Harvard University
Fellow, 2019-20 Study #8

Michael J. Hiscox will be working on the “Future of Capitalism” Initiative. He plans to spend the year examining the ways businesses are responding to new and growing pressures to do good (by improving environmental and social outcomes) at the same time as they do well (by making profits and increasing shareholder value). Firms are now expected to earn a “social license to operate” and play a role in helping communities address issues as diverse as climate change, human rights, poverty, discrimination, and privacy in ways not required by formal government regulations. Many leading companies and new social enterprises are targeting a “triple bottom line” and building sustainability and accountability into their core business models. The research at CASBS will examine when and how firms that do good can also do well.

Hiscox is the Clarence Dillon Professor of International Affairs in the department of government, Harvard University. At Harvard he is the founding director of the Sustainability, Transparency, Accountability Research (STAR) Lab and a faculty member of the Behavioral Insights Group at Harvard’s Center for Public Leadership. He is also a faculty associate at the Institute for Quantitative Social Science, the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, and the Harvard University Center for the Environment.  While on leave from Harvard between 2015 and 2017, Hiscox was the founding director of the Behavioural Economics Team (BETA) in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Australian Government. He continues to serve as an adviser to BETA.

His past research has examined international trade and immigration policy, economic development, global supply chains, corporate responsibility and sustainability initiatives, and policies addressing economic, social, and public health issues in several countries. In recent years, working with governments, non-profit organizations, and corporations, he has designed and implemented randomized trials to evaluate a wide range of government policies, company initiatives, and programs administered by non-profit organizations in the United States, Australia, Singapore, Indonesia, Ghana, and Cote d’Ivoire.

Hiscox is a 2019-20 Berggruen fellow at CASBS.