Danielle Li


Danielle Li


Danielle Li is the Class of 1922 Career Development Professor and an Associate Professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management. Her research interests are in the economics of innovation, productivity, and organizational economics.

Her work focuses on 1) understanding how organizations weigh expert advice and quantitative data when making investment decisions and 2) assessing the value of such investments on innovation in the life sciences in particular. For example, a recent project studies how machine learning algorithms impact firm HR practices and worker productivity; another examines whether/how public investments in biomedical research shape private sector pharmaceutical development. 

Danielle is also a Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research. Prior to coming to MIT, she was an assistant professor of entrepreneurship at Harvard Business School.

She holds an AB in mathematics from Harvard College and PhD in economics from MIT.  



"Internal Deadlines, Drug Approvals, and Safety Problems."

Cohen, Lauren, Umit G. Gurun, and Danielle Li. American Economic Review: Insights. Forthcoming.

"Trust, Collaboration, and Economic Growth."

Kondo, Jiro, Danielle Li, and Dimitris Papanikolaou. Management Science. Forthcoming.

"​Promotions and the 'Peter Principle'."

Benson, Alan, Danielle Li, and Kelly Shue. Quarterly Journal of Economics Vol. 134, No. 4 (2019): 2085–2134.

"Missing Novelty in Drug Development."

Krieger, Josh, Danielle Li, and Dimitris Papanikolaou, MIT Sloan Working Paper 5622-19. Cambridge, MA: MIT Sloan School of Management, January 2019.

"Public R&D Investments and Private Sector Patenting: Evidence from NIH Funding Rules."

Azoulay, Pierre, Joshua S. Graff Zivin, Danielle Li, and Bhaven N. Sampat. Review of Economic Studies Vol. 86, No. 1 (2019): 117-152. Also NBER Working Paper #20889.

"Discretion in Hiring."

Hoffman, Mitchell, Lisa Kahn, and Danielle Li. Quarterly Journal of Economics Vol. 133, No. 2 (2018): 765-800. Download paper.

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