I am an Assistant Professor in the Technological Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Strategic Management group at the MIT Sloan School of Management and the Fred Kayne (1960) Career Development Professor of Entrepreneurship. My research interests are in the economics of innovation, energy and environmental economics, and public finance. Most of my work studies the effects of policies and investment (both public and private) on innovation for social progress — innovation that protects the planet and people — as well as human capital formation, focusing primarily on energy and environmental innovation. One of my current obsessions is exploring how market failure interdependencies and policy interactions shape firms’ incentives to innovate and especially how they steer the direction of innovation.

I am also an Honorary Research Associate with the University of Oxford, a 2022 Distinguished Fellow on Stakeholder Capitalism with the Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise, a Research Affiliate of CESifo, and an Invited Researcher with J-PAL’s Science for Progress Initiative.

Before joining MIT, I held various positions in the public and private sectors. I worked in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and National Conference of State Legislatures supporting state and tribal governments on energy policy and project finance issues, and I was a research economist at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. I was also the Head of Analytics for a boutique consulting firm in the UK helping companies manage their reorganizations.

email: jpless@mit.edu