Benito Arruñada is Professor of Business Organization at the Department of Economics and Business at Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona. Prior to joining Pompeu Fabra and after graduating from the Universities of Oviedo and Rochester, he held positions at the Universities of Oviedo and León, and was John M. Olin Visiting Scholar in Law and Economics at Harvard Law School. He has also taught at the Universities of Paris (I and X), Frankfurt, Autónoma de Madrid and Pablo de Olavide in Seville.
Most of Arruñada’s current research analyzes the institutional bases that make firms and markets possible: from the most concrete, such as property titling and business regulation, to some of the most abstract, such as moral systems. Using various methods, from case analysis to mathematical and econometric models, this research aims to discover the organizational conditions that facilitate impersonal exchange, the best means for specializing resources and speeding up economic growth.
- Role played by contractual allocation of decision rights in relational contracting such as franchising and retailing.
- Theory of property rights institutions based on the role of individual consent, and development of organizational guidelines for such institutions and for regulating conveyancing markets.
- Cost and benefit framework for the regulation of auditing, with applications to auditor rotation and the provision of non-audit services.
- Need to emphasize the value of services when simplifying business formalization processes.
His publications include articles in The Economic Journal, Journal of Law and Economics, Harvard Business Review, Journal of Legal Analysis, Journal of Comparative Economics, Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, Industrial and Corporate Change, International Review of Law and Economics, Management and Organization Review, and Managerial and Decision Economics, and a dozen books, including Institutional Foundations of Impersonal Exchange: The Theory and Policy of Contractual Registries (Univ. of Chicago Press: 2012), The Economics of Audit Quality (Springer: Norwell, 1999) and Corporate Governance and Regulation (Alianza: Madrid, 1990).
He has also published three textbooks—Firms, Markets and Institutions (Thompson: Cizur Menor, 2013), Contractual Theory of the Firm (Marcial Pons: Madrid, 1998), and The Economics of the Firm: A Contractual Approach (Ariel: Barcelona, 1990)—and numerous op-ed articles on topics related to his research in trade journals and newspapers, including The Wall Street Journal, Expansión, and El País. He has been invited to present his work at a variety of academic and policy forums (Berkeley, Harvard, MIT, European Commission, IDB, French Conseil d’Etat, Mont Pélerin Society, The World Bank, and many others).
New Institutional Economics
Arruñada was a member of the founding board of directors and served as President (2005-2006) of the Society for Organizational and Institutional Economics (SIOE; formerly, International Society for New Institutional Economics, ISNIE), an interdisciplinary enterprise promoted by R.H. Coase, D.C. North and O.E. Williamson, which aims “to explain what institutions are, how they arise, what purposes they serve, how they change and how—if at all—they should be reformed”.