Paul Vaaler

Paul M. Vaaler

Professor and John and Bruce Mooty Chair in Law & Business
Strategic Management & Entrepreneurship


  • Ph.D. 1997
    Strategic Management & Organization University of Minnesota
  • J.D. 1988
    Law Harvard University
  • M.A. 1985
    Philosophy, Politics & Economics Oxford University
  • B.A. 1983
    History Carleton College


  • Migrants, remittances and venture investment in developing countries
  • Credit rating agencies and sovereign risk
  • Political business cycles in emerging democracies
  • Performance trends in technology industries and firms


Professor Vaaler has been a member of the SME Department since 2007.  Prior to that he was on the faculty of Tufts University's Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy and the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign) School of Business.  Professor Vaaler is also a faculty member at the University of Minnesota Law School.  In 2019-2020, Professor Vaaler will be on sabbatic leave in South Africa as a Fulbright Scholar.  His research and teaching interests lie at the intersection of business, law and politics:  understanding long-term performance stability trends and their competition (antitrust) policy implications for firms in the US; understanding how migrants from developing countries remit money and ideas to fund, found and grow new businesses in developing countries with poor legal infrastructure; and how elections change the attractiveness of new democracies for lending and investment. His courses address business, legal and public policy issues associated with managing intellectual property in firms, negotiating investment projects with the governments of developing countries, and structuring public-private partnerships.  Professor Vaaler is the author and editor of books published by Kluwer Academic Publishers, MIT Press, and Routledge Press as well as journal articles published in the Academy of Management Journal, Economics Letters, Journal of Business Venturing, Journal of International Business Studies, Journal of International Management, Journal of International Money and Finance, Journal of Management Studies, Journal of World Business, Organization Science, Review of Development Economics, Strategic Management Journal, Strategy Science, and other academic journals. He serves on the editorial boards of the Global Strategy Journal and the International Journal of Strategic Change Management.  He is a Senior Editor at Journal of International Business Policy.  He is a Consulting Editor of the Journal of World Business.  He is Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Social Science Research Network Global Business Issues electronic journal. Professor Vaaler has served as a consultant to firms, government agencies and international organizations, including the World Bank where he assisted in the development of strategies to attract more investment in West Africa from migrant diaspora communities. Professor Vaaler is a lawyer with private practice and government experience. He received his B.A. in History from Carleton College, his M.A. in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Oxford University where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar, his J.D. from Harvard Law School, and his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. 

Selected Works & Activities.

  • Journal Articles
    "Discriminatory Product Differentiation: The Case of Israel's Omission from Airline Route Maps," Paul M. Vaaler and Joel Waldfogel, Strategy Science, 4(2): 70-93 (2019).
  • Whole Books
    The Ethical Professor: A Practical Guide to Research, Teaching and Professional Life, Lorraine Eden, Kathy Lund Dean and Paul M. Vaaler, Routledge, Abingdon, UK (2018).
  • Journal Articles
    "Minority Rules: Credible State Ownership and Investment Risk Around the World," Barclay E. James and Paul M. Vaaler, Organization Science, 29(4): 653-677 (2018).
  • Journal Articles
    "How Do Plural-Sourcing Firms Make and Buy? The Impact of Supplier Portfolio Design," Mari Sako, George Chondrakis, and Paul M. Vaaler, Organization Science, 27(5): 1161-1182 (2016).
  • Journal Articles
    "Economic Informality and the Venture Investment Impact of Migrant Remittances to Developing Countries," Candace Martinez, Michael Cummings and Paul M. Vaaler, Journal of Business Venturing, 30: 526-545 (2015).
  • Journal Articles
    "How Well Do Supra-National Regional Grouping Schemes Fit International Business Research Models?"; Ricardo Flores, Ruth Aguilera, Arash Mahdian, and Paul M. Vaaler, Journal of International Business Studies, 44(5): 451-474 (2013).
  • Journal Articles
    "Credit Rating Agencies and Elections in Emerging Democracies: Guardians of Fiscal Discipline?", Marek Hanusch and Paul M. Vaaler, Economics Letters, 119: 251-254 (2013).
  • Journal Articles
    "Immigrant Remittances and the Venture Investment Environment of Developing Countries," Paul M. Vaaler, Journal of International Business Studies, 42(9): 1121-1149 (Reprinted in International Entrepreneurship, A. Rebecca Reuber (Ed), Palgrave Macmillan: L
  • Journal Articles
    "Are Technology-Intensive Industries More Dynamically Competitive? No and Yes," Paul M. Vaaler and Gerry McNamara, Organization Science, 21: 271-289 (2010).
  • Journal Articles
    "Residual State Ownership, Policy Stability and Financial Performance Following Strategic Decisions by Privatizing Telecoms," Paul M. Vaaler and Burkhard N. Schrage, Journal of International Business Studies, 40: 621-641 (2009).
  • Journal Articles
    "How Do MNCs Vote in Developing Country Elections?" Paul M. Vaaler, Academy of Management Journal 51: 21-44 (2008).
  • Journal Articles
    "Elections, Opportunism, Partisanship and Sovereign Ratings in Developing Countries," Paul M. Vaaler, Burkhard N. Schrage and Steven A. Block, Review of Development Economics 10(1): 154-170 (2006).
  • Journal Articles
    "Counting the Investor Vote: Political Business Cycle Effects on Sovereign Bond Spreads in Developing Countries," Paul M. Vaaler, Burkhard N. Schrage and Steven A. Block, Journal of International Business Studies, 36(1): 62-88 (2005).
  • Journal Articles
    "Crisis and Competition in Expert Organizational Decision Making: Credit Rating Agencies and Their Response to Turbulence in Emerging Economies," Paul M. Vaaler and Gerry McNamara, Organization Science, 15(6): 687-703 (2004).
  • Journal Articles
    "The Price of Democracy: Sovereign Risk Ratings, Bond Spreads and Political Business Cycles in Developing Countries," Steven A. Block and Paul M. Vaaler, Journal of International Money and Finance, 23(3): 917-946 (2004).
  • Journal Articles
    "Same as it Ever Was: The Search for Evidence of Increasing Hypercompetition," Gerry McNamara, Paul M. Vaaler and Cynthia Devers, Strategic Management Journal, 24(3): 261-278 (Selected by Emerald Management Reviews as one of the top 50 mgmt research
  • Whole Books
    Financial Innovations and the Welfare of Nations: How Cross-Border Transfers of Financial Innovations Nurture Emerging Capital Markets, Laurent Jacque and Paul M. Vaaler, eds., Kluwer Academic Publishers, Boston, MA (2001).
  • Whole Books
    Creative Destruction: Business Survival and Success in the Global Internet Economy, Lee W. McKnight, Paul M. Vaaler and Raul Katz, eds., MIT Press, Cambridge, MA (2001); (Paperback, 2002; Japanese ed, 2003; Chinese ed., 2007).
  • Editorial Appointments

    Co-Editor-in-Chief, Social Science Research Network Global Business Issues electronic journal, 2009-Present; Senior Editor, Journal of International Business Policy, 2018-Present; Consulting Editor, Journal of World Business, 2019-Present; Editorial Review Board Member, Global Strategy Journal, 2015-Present.

  • Administrative Appointments

    Professor, Law School and Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota, 2019-Present; John and Bruce Mooty Chair in Law & Business, Law School and Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota, 2014-Present.

  • Community Relationships

    Weekly commentator on current business issues, WCCO Radio's "Business by Carlson" segment, 2015-2019.

  • Honors and Awards

    Fulbright Scholar (South Africa), 2019-Present; Sanjaya Lall Visiting Professor of Business & Development (Oxford University), 2012.

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