Jim Malcomson is Emeritus Professor of Economics and Senior Research Fellow (Honorary) at the University of Oxford, where he taught from 1999-2013, and Emeritus Fellow at All Souls College. He has a PhD in economics from Harvard University, previously taught economics at the universities of York and Southampton, and is a Fellow of both the British Academy and the Econometric Society.
His research is primarily concerned with the economics of contracts, especially their implications for labour markets and the provision of health services. In these, as in many other services, important aspects such as the quality of service to be provided are often difficult to specify contractually in advance in a legally enforceable way. Two important issues then arise: (1) how best to structure the contract so that what the parties want is actually provided and (2) what the implications are for delivery of services.
He has particular interest in the economics of relational contracts, on-going relationships in which not all contractual details are fully specified in advance in a legally enforceable way. These pervade economic life, especially employment and provision of complex services such as health care.