Serguey Braguinsky is an Associate Professor at the University of Maryland Robert H. Smith School of Business with courtesy appointment at the Department of Economics, a Research Associate at the NBER Productivity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship Program, and a Professor (cross-appointment) at the Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.

Dr. Braguinsky was born in Moscow, the former Soviet Union, and got his Bachelor’s degree from Moscow State University. His doctoral degree in economics is from Keio University in Japan. Before joining the University of Maryland in 2016 he had been an Associate Professor at the Department of Social and Decision Sciences, Carnegie Mellon University, where he was granted tenure. Prior to that, he had held academic positions at the Institute for Oriental Studies, the USSR Academy of Sciences; Yokohama City University; the University of Chicago; and the State University of New York at Buffalo.

Dr. Braguinsky’s research interests are in the fields of industry evolution, entrepreneurship, innovation, growth and development, and also in economics of incentives, institutions, and property rights. He has published in leading economics and management journals, such as American Economic Review, Journal of Financial Economics, Strategic Management Journal, Journal of Law and Economics, Journal of Economic History, Review of Economic Dynamics, and so on.



Selected publications

“History and Nanoeconomics in Strategy Research: Lessons from the Meiji-Era Japanese Cotton Spinning Industry” (with David Hounshell), Strategic Management Journal, 37(1), 2016, pp. 45-65. 

“Acquisitions, Productivity, and Profitability: Evidence from the Japanese Cotton Spinning Industry” (with Atsushi Ohyama, Tetsuji Okazaki, and Chad Syverson), American Economic Review, 105(7), 2015, pp. 2086-2119.

“Spinning Tales About Japanese Cotton Spinning: Saxonhouse (1974) and Lessons from New Data” (with David Hounshell), Journal of Economic History, 57(2), 2015, pp. 364-404.

“Foreign Corporations and the Culture of Transparency: Evidence from Russian Administrative Data” (with Sergey Mityakov), Journal of Financial Economics, 117(1), 2015, pp. 139-164.

 “Industry Evolution and Entrepreneurship: Steven Klepper’s Contribution to Industrial Organization, Strategy, Technological Change, and Entrepreneurship” (with Rajshree Agarwal), Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, 9(4), 2015, pp. 380-397.

 “Knowledge Diffusion and Industry Growth: The Case of Japan’s Early Cotton Spinning Industry,” Industrial and Corporate Change, 24(4), 2015, pp. 769-790.

“Direct Estimation of Hidden Earnings: Evidence from Administrative Data” (with Sergey Mityakov and Andrey Liscovich), Journal of Law and Economics, 57(2), 2014, pp. 281-319.

 “High-Tech Entrepreneurship” (with Steven Klepper and Atsushi Ohyama), Journal of Law and Economics, 55(4), 2012, pp. 715-744.

 “Start-ups by University Graduates versus Their Faculty: Implications for University Entrepreneurship Policy” (with Tom Åstebro and Navid Bazzazian), Research Policy, 41(4), 2012, pp. 663-677

 “Noisy Selection Model and the Evolution of Firm Size and Within-Firm Earnings Distributions: A Unified Approach” (with Atsushi Ohyama), Small Business Economics: An Entrepreneurship Journal, 37(1), 2011, pp. 59-72.

 “The Rise and Fall of Post-Communist Oligarchs,” Journal of Law and Economics 52(2), 2009, pp. 307-350.

“Competition, Cooperation, and the Neighboring Farmer Effect” (with David C. Rose), Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 2009, 72(1), pp. 361-376.

 “Capital and Growth with Oligarchic Property Rights” (with Roger Myerson), Review of Economic Dynamics, 10(4), 2007, pp. 676-704.

 “A Macroeconomic Model of Russian Transition: The Role of Oligarchic Property Rights” (with Roger Myerson), Economics of Transition, 15(1), 2007 pp. 77-107.

 “A Theory of Industry Dynamics with Innovation and Imitation” (with Salavat Gabdrakhmanov and Atsushi Ohyama), Review of Economic Dynamics, 10(4), 2007, pp. 729-760.

“Bidder Discounts and Target Premia in Takeovers” (with Boyan Jovanovic), American Economic Review 94(1), 2004, pp. 46-56.

 “Entrepreneurial Ability and Market Selection in an Infant Industry: Evidence from the Japanese Cotton Spinning Industry” (with Atsushi Ohyama and Kevin M. Murphy), Review of Economic Dynamics, 7(2), 2004, pp. 354-381.

 Incentives and Institutions. The Transition to a Market Economy in Russia (with Grigory Yavlinsky), 2000, Princeton University Press.

 “Enforcement of Property Rights during the Russian Transition: Problems and Some Approaches to a New Liberal Solution” Journal of Legal Studies, 28(2), 1999, pp. 515-544.







  • Degree Type
    Degree Details
    Doctor of Economics, Keio University, 1997

My research centers on fundamental issues of economic dynamics and development. Having lived through the collapse of a totalitarian system, I found that the dynamics of the transition to a market economy using “new institutional economics” (economic approach to the analysis of social institutions pioneered by Ronald Coase, Harold Demsetz, and Douglas North) presented a natural starting point. Since I joined the U.S. academic community in the early 2000s, I have focused on detailed, "nanoeconomic" examination of the major determinants of economic success and failure through the lens of industry behavior, entrepreneurship, and adoption and diffusion of best technological and management practices, especially as they relate to human capital. I have aimed to develop new theoretical perspectives, as well as new empirical approaches to measuring quantitatively various important relevant phenomena, among them, rewards to entrepreneurship, the role of managerial talent in the productivity and profitability of plants, the impact of political risk on investment and growth, and the role of globalization in fighting the corporate culture of hiding and corruption.

A country’s stage of development and its institutions determine how effectively it can generate and exploit new technological opportunities and utilize its human capital. At the same time, superior human capital and rapid diffusion of best practices, even if they happen initially in just one industry, have the potential of eventually changing the whole institutional landscape. Dynamic, innovative industries and regions are born out of a marriage between technological opportunity and human capital, on the one hand, and market demand and institutional rules governing asset allocation and rent appropriation, on the other hand. The consequences for human welfare of understanding how a country can unleash its productive potential are so staggering that, as Nobel Laureate Robert Lucas wrote, “once one starts to think about them, it is hard to think about anything else” (Lucas, 1988, p. 5). While we may already have a rather good idea of poor institutions being the main reason for “why nations fail” (Acemoglu and Robinson, 2012), detailed “nano-economic” study of entrepreneurship and industry behavior presents, in my view, the most promising way of studying development (including institution-building) as a “self-discovery” process (Hausmann and Rodrik, 2003), and thus allows one to pose and answer the question of how nations succeed. I expect this to be the most important theme in my research agenda going forward.

Former Students

  • Atsushi Ohyama
    Associate Professor, Hitotsubashi University, Institute for Innovation Research
  • Yasunori Okumura
    Associate Professor, Department of Logistics and Information Engineering, Tokyo University of Marine
  • Yu Peng Lin
    Associate Professor of Economics, University of Detroit Mercy
  • Paul van der Boor
    Consultant, Business Technology Office at McKinsey & Company
Serguey Braguinsky
4115D Tydings Hall
Department of Economics
sbraguinsky [at]
Office Hours
By appointment