Masahiko Aoki was the Henri and Tomoye Takahashi Professor Emeritus of Japanese Studies in the Department of Economics, and a senior fellow of the Stanford Institute of Economic Policy Research and the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University.
Aoki was a theoretical and applied economist with a strong interest in institutional and comparative issues. He specialized in the theory of institutions, corporate architecture and governance, and the Japanese and Chinese economies.
His most recent book, Corporations in Evolving Diversity: Cognition, Governance, and Institutions, based on his 2008 Clarendon Lectures, was published in 2010 by Oxford University Press. It identifies a variety of corporate architecture as diverse associational cognitive systems, and discusses their implications to corporate governance, as well their modes of interactions with society, polity, and financial markets within a unified game-theoretic perspective. His previous book, Toward a Comparative Institutional Analysis, was published in 2001 by MIT Press. This work developed a conceptual and analytical framework for integrating comparative studies of institutions in economics and other social science disciplines using game-theoretic language. Aoki's research has been also published in the leading journals in economics, including the American Economic Review, Econometrica, the Quarterly Journal of Economics, Review of Economic Studies, the Journal of Economic Literature, Industrial and Corporate Change, and the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organizations.
Aoki was the president of the International Economic Association from 2008 to 2011, and is also a former president of the Japanese Economic Association. He is a fellow of the Econometric Society and the founding editor of the Journal of Japanese and International Economies. He was awarded the Japan Academy Prize in 1990, and the sixth International Schumpeter Prize in 1998. Between 2001 and 2004, Aoki served as the president and chief research officer of the Research Institute of Economy, Trade, and Industry, an independent administrative institution specializing in public policy research in Japan.
Aoki graduated from the University of Tokyo with a B.A. and an M.A. in economics, and earned a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Minnesota in 1967. He was formerly an assistant professor at Stanford University and Harvard University and served as both an associate and full professor at the University of Kyoto before rejoining the Stanford faculty in 1984.