Birger Wernerfelt

Birger Wernerfelt has been at MIT for almost thirty years and is currently the J. C. Penney Professor there. He was educated at the University of Copenhagen and Harvard and has an Honorary Doctorate from the Copenhagen Business School. Wernerfelt has done foundational and often iconoclastic work in economics, management strategy, and marketing. In the last several years, he has been working on an economic theory of the firm. A fairly comprehensive statement of the theory can be found in “The Comparative Advantages of Firms, Markets, and Contracts: A Unified Theory” (2015). In the book, “Adaptation, Specialization, and the Theory of the Firm: Foundations of the Resource-Based View” (2016), Wernerfelt starts with his economic theory of the firm and derives the Resource-Based View of the Firm (of Wernerfelt, 1984), thus showing that the two perspectives are consistent.