Mike Scherer, 8.27.10.jpgFrederic M. Scherer

Employment History | Offices and HonorsMiscellaneous Professional ActivitiesResearchSelected Principal Publications

Home address:  53 Standish Street, Unit 2
Cambridge, MA 02138
E-mail: mike_scherer@harvard.edu
Office telephone:  617-497-4345

F. M. Scherer is Aetna Professor Emeritus in the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.  Born in 1932, he received an A.B. degree with honors and distinction from the University of Michigan in 1954; an M.B.A. with high distinction from Harvard University in 1958; and a Ph.D. in business economics from Harvard University in 1963.  He is married to Barbara Silbermann Scherer.  They have three children and eight grandchildren.

His research specialties are industrial economics and the economics of technological change, leading to numerous publications, the most important of which are listed in the section on Selected Principal Publications.

Employment History

1954-56, U.S. Army, Counter-Intelligence Corps.

1958-63, research assistant and then associate, Harvard Business School.

1963-66, assistant professor, Princeton University.

1966-72, associate professor and then professor of economics, University of Michigan.

1972-74, senior research fellow, International Institute of Management, Science Center Berlin (WZB), Germany.

1974-76, director, Bureau of Economics, Federal Trade Commission.

1976-82, professor of economics, Northwestern University.

1982-89, professor and then Joseph Wharton professor of political economy, Swarthmore College.

1989-2000, professor and then Aetna professor, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.  1992-97, chair, Ph.D. committee.  Member, University Research Policy committee.

1990, Census research fellow, American Statistical Association.

1994, visiting lecturer, Central European University.

1997, Arthur Andersen distinguished visitor, University of Cambridge.

2000, Ludwig Erhard visiting professor, University of Bayreuth.

2000-2005, lecturer, Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University.

2004, 2006, visiting professor, Haverford College.

2006-16, teaching as emeritus professor at Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.  Member, University Conflict of Interest Committee and Export Committee. 

2009  visiting professor, Northeastern University.


Offices and Honors

1953, Michigamua senior honor society, University of Michigan.

1953-54, elected president, University of Michigan Literature, Science and the Arts Class of 1954.

1957, Copeland Award in marketing, Harvard Business School.

1957-58, Baker Scholar, Harvard Business School.

1959-62, Ford Foundation predoctoral fellow, Harvard University.

1963-66, member and treasurer, Inter-University Committee on the Economics of Technological Change.

1964, Lanchester Prize, Operations Research Society of America.

1968-72, elected member, University of Michigan faculty Senate and its executive committee. 

1974, Co-founder, European Association for Research in Industrial Economics.

1976, member of first American Economic Association delegation sent to meet with members of the Soviet Union Academy of Sciences.

1988, Vice-president, American Economic Association.

1988-90, President, International J.A. Schumpeter Society.

1990, Vice-president, Southern Economic Association.

1990, O'Melveny & Myers Centennial research grant.

1990-2000, Member, British - North American Committee (BNAC).

1992-93, President, Industrial Organization Society.

1996, Honorary doctorate, University of Hohenheim, Germany.

1999, Distinguished fellow, Industrial Organization Society.

2000, Distinguished fellow, Center for Business and Government, John F. Kennedy School of Government.

2002, Lifetime Achievement Award, American Antitrust Institute.

2009, viedo interview for American Bar Association, Antitrust Section, Oral History Project. 


Miscellaneous Professional Activities

1966-68, consultant to U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency.

1966-69, principal economic adviser, Committee on Government Patent Policy.

1973-74, member, Kuratorium, Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin.

1978, provided advisory memorandum to Attorney General Griffin Bell on the proposed merger of LTV and Lykes-Youngstown.

1979-81, economic adviser to Federal Judges Charles Robson and Hubert Will in the Folding Carton Litigation.

1980-83, member, National Science Foundation PRA advisory panel; member of subcommittee leading to initial support for the Census Bureau's Center for Economic Studies.

1990-93, chair, advisory panel, U.S. Office of Technology Assessment study of Pharmaceutical R&D: Costs, Risks, and Rewards.

1991, economic adviser to Judge Hubert Will in the Glass Bottles litigation.

1997-99, member, U.S. Census Bureau Professional Advisory Committee (co-chair, 1999).

2000, submitted amici curiae brief with Robert Litan, William Nordhaus, and Roger Noll in the U.S. v. Microsoft case.

2005, submitted amicus curiae brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in the Independent Ink v. Illinois Tool case.

2007, submitted amici curiae brief with William S. Comanor to the Supreme Court in Leegin Creative Leather Products v. PSKS Inc.

Submitted testimony on behalf of the government in the following antitrust cases:  U.S. v. IBM; in re Kellogg Company et al.; in re Toys 'R' Us; U.S. v. Lockheed-Martin Corporation and Northrop-Grumman Corporation; in re Intel Corporation.

Editorial board member for Journal of Industrial Economics, Journal of Economic Literature, Review of Economics and Statistics, Review of Industrial Organization, and diverse other journals.  Editor for the Economics of Technological Change section, Fundamentals of Pure and Applied Economics, 1980-90.

Numerous appearances before Congressional committees and other governmental commission inquiries in the United States, Canada, and Europe.


F. M. Scherer's research has focused on six main topics:  the economics of technological change and economic growth; industrial organization economics; the economics of intellectual property; competition policy and public regulation; the economics of weapons acquisition; and the economics of creative industries (e.g., music composition).  Item (4) in the following list of selected publications helped educate a generation of industrial organization economists.  Items (2) and (3) continue to be seminal analyses of government - contractor relationships in the acquisition of advanced weapon systems.  Items (22) and (20) provided the first mathematical analyses in the economics literature of how inter-firm rivalry accelerates technological innovation.  Those articles plus item (19) formulated (with parallel work by Jacob Schmookler) the concepts of technology-push and demand-pull as endogenous forces precipitating technological innovation.  Item (19) was also the first to suggest a specific skew distribution for the profits from innovative activity.  Definitive evidence on the characteristics of the innovation payoff size distribution was added by items (53) through (58).  Item (5) provided evidentiary support underlying the European Commission's Cecchini Report (1988) on the costs of incomplete European integration.  Item (8) demonstrated the substantial inefficiencies and profitability reductions resulting from the U.S. conglomerate merger wave of the 1960s and 1970s.  An unprecedentedly detailed matrix showing how technology flows through the U.S. economy is presented in item (31), utilized to analyze productivity growth in items (33), (35), and (47), and reconstructed in item (70).  Various publications appear also in German, French, Italian, Spanish, Portugese, Russian, Japanese, Chinese, and Arabic.

Selected Principal Publications

Books and Monographs

 (1)  Co-author (with eight Harvard Business School students), Patents and the Corporation (privately published, 1958, 1959).

 (2)  Co-author with M. J. Peck, The Weapons Acquisition Process: An Economic Analysis (Harvard Business School Division of Research, 1962).

 (3)  The Weapons Acquisition Process: Economic Incentives (Harvard Business School Division of Research, 1964).

 (4)  Industrial Market Structure and Economic Performance (first ed. 1970; second ed. 1980; third ed. (with David Ross) 1990; Houghton Mifflin).

 (5)  Senior co-author (with Alan Beckenstein, Erich Kaufer, and R. D. Murphy), The Economics of Multi-Plant Operation: An International Comparisons Study (Harvard University Press, 1975).

 (6)  The Economic Effects of Compulsory Patent Licensing (New York University Monograph Series in Finance and Economics, 1977).

 (7)  Innovation and Growth: Schumpeterian Perspectives (MIT Press, 1984).

 (8)  Co-author (with David J. Ravenscraft), Mergers, Sell-offs, and Economic Efficiency (Brookings Institution, 1987).

 (9)  International High-Technology Competition (Harvard University Press, 1992).

 (10)  Competition Policies for an Integrated World Economy (Brookings Institution, 1994).

 (11)  Industry Structure, Strategy, and Public Policy (Harper Collins, 1996).

 (12)  New Perspectives on Economic Growth and Technological Innovation (Brookings Institution, 1999). 

 (13)  Competition Policy, Domestic and International (Edward Elgar, 2001).

 (14)  Quarter Notes and Bank Notes:  The Economics of Music Composition in the 18th and 19th Centuries (Princeton University Press, 2004).

  (15) Monopolies, Mergers, and Competition Policy (Edward Elgar, 2018).  See https://www.e-elgar.com/shop/monopolies-mergers-and-competition policy.

Major Articles

 (16) "The Theory of Contractual Incentives for Cost Reduction," Quarterly Journal of Economics, May 1964, pp. 257-280.

 (17) "Invention and Innovation in the Watt-Boulton Steam Engine Venture," Technology and Culture, Spring 1965, pp. 165-187.

 (18) "Corporate Inventive Output, Profits, and Growth," Journal of Political Economy, June 1965, pp. 290-297.

 (19) "Firm Size, Market Structure, Opportunity, and the Output of Patented Inventions," American Economic Review, December 1965, pp. 1097-1125.

 (20) "Time-Cost Tradeoffs in Uncertain Empirical Research Projects," Naval Research Logistics Quarterly, March 1966, pp. 71-82, and September 1966, pp. 349-350.

 (21) "Market Structure and the Employment of Scientists and Engineers," American Economic Review, June 1967, pp. 524-531.

 (22) "Research and Development Resource Allocation under Rivalry," Quarterly Journal of Economics, August 1967, pp. 359-394.

 (23) "The Determinants of Industrial Plant Sizes in Six Nations," Review of Economics and Statistics, May 1973, pp. 135-145.

 (24) "Investment Variability, Seller Concentration, and Plant Scale Economies," Journal of Industrial Economics, December 1973, pp. 157-160.

 (25)  "The Determinants of Multi-Plant Operation in Six Nations and Twelve Industries," Kyklos, 1974, no. 1, pp. 124-139.

 (26)  "Economies of Scale and Industrial Concentration," In Harvey J. Goldschmid et al., eds., Industrial Concentration: The New Learning (Little, Brown, 1974), pp. 16-54 and 97-100. 

 (27) "Industrial Structure, Scale Economies, and Worker Alienation," in R. T. Masson and P. D. Qualls, editors, Essays on Industrial Organization in Honor of Joe S. Bain (Ballinger, 1976), pp. 105-122.

 (28) "Segmental Financial Reporting: Needs and Tradeoffs," in Harvey J. Goldschmid, editor, Business Disclosure: Government's Need To Know (McGraw-Hill, 1979), pp. 3-57.

 (29) "The Welfare Economics of Product Variety: An Application to the Ready-to-Eat Cereals Industry," Journal of Industrial Economics, December 1979, pp. 113-134.

 (30) "Demand-Pull and Technological Innovation: Schmookler Revisited," Journal of Industrial Economics, March 1982, pp. 225-238.

 (31) "Industrial Technology Flows in the United States," Research Policy, August 1982, pp. 227-245.

 (32) Co-author (with David Ravenscraft), "The Lag Structure of Returns to R&D," Applied Economics, December 1982, pp. 603-620.

 (33) "Inter-Industry Technology Flows and Productivity Growth," Review of Economics and Statistics, November 1982, pp. 627-634.

 (34) "The Propensity To Patent," International Journal of Industrial Organization, vol. I, no. 1 (1983), pp. 107-128.

 (35) "R&D and Declining Productivity Growth," American Economic Review, May 1983, pp. 215-218.

 (36) "The Economics of Vertical Restraints," Antitrust Law Journal, vol. 52 (1983), pp. 687-707 and 731-740.

 (37) "Antitrust, Efficiency, and Progress," New York University Law Review, November 1987, pp. 998-1020.

 (38) Co-author (with David Ravenscraft), "Life After Takeover," Journal of Industrial Economics, December 1987, pp. 147-156.

 (39) Co-author (with David Ravenscraft), "The Profitability of Mergers," International Journal of Industrial Organization, March 1988, pp. 101-116.

 (40) Co-author (with David Ravenscraft), "Divisional Sell-off: A Hazard Function Analysis," Managerial and Decision Economics, 1991, pp. 429-438.

 (41) "Corporate Takeovers: The Efficiency Arguments,"  Journal of Economic Perspectives, Winter 1988, pp. 69-82.

 (42) "Efficiency, Fairness, and the Early Contributions of Economists to the Antitrust Debate," Washburn Law Journal, Winter 1990, pp. 243-255.

 (43) "Sunlight and Sunset at the Federal Trade Commission," Administrative Law Review, Fall 1990, pp. 461-487.

 (44) Co-author (with Keun Huh), "Top Managers' Education and R&D Investment," Research Policy, 1992, pp. 507-511. 

 (45) Co-author (with Keun Huh), "R&D Reactions to High-Technology Import Competition," Review of Economics and Statistics, May 1992, pp. 202-212. 

  (46) "Schumpeter and Plausible Capitalism," Journal of Economic Literature, September 1992, pp. 1416-1433.

  (47) "Lagging Productivity Growth:  Measurement, Technology, and Shock Effects," Empirica, vol. 20, no. 1 (1993), pp. 5-24.

  (48) "Pricing, Profits, and Technological Progress in the Pharmaceutical Industry," Journal of Economic Perspectives, Summer 1993, pp. 97-116.

  (49) Co-author (with W. S. Comanor), "Rewriting History: The Early Sherman Act Monopolization Cases," International Journal of the Economics of Business, July 1995, pp. 263-289.

  (50) "An Accidental Schumpeterian,"  The American Economist, vol. 40 (Spring 1996), pp. 5-13; reprinted in Michael Szenberg and Lall Ramarattan, eds., Reflections of Eminent Economists (Elgar: 2004), pp. 386-399.

  (51) "How U.S. Antitrust Can Go Astray: The Brand Name Prescription Drug Litigation," International Journal of the Economics of Business, vol. 4 (November 1997), pp. 239-256.

  (52) "Retail Distribution Channel Barriers to International Trade," Antitrust Law Journal, vol. 67, no. 1 (1999), pp. 77-112.

  (53) "The Size Distribution of Profits from Innovation," Annales d'Economie et de Statistique, 1998, no. 49/50, pp. 495-516. 

  (54) Co-author (with Dietmar Harhoff, Francis Narin, and Katrin Vopel), "Citation Frequency and the Value of Patented Inventions," Review of Economics and Statistics, August 1999, pp. 511-515.

  (55) Co-author (with Dietmar Harhoff and Joerg Kukies), "Uncertainty and the Size Distribution of Rewards from Technological Innovation," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, vol. 10 (2000), pp. 175-200.

  (56) Co-author (with Dietmar Harhoff), "Technology Policy for a World of Skew-Distributed Outcomes," Research Policy, April 2000, pp. 559-566.

  (57) Co-author (with Dietmar Harhoff and Katrin Vopel), "Exploring the Tail of Patent Value Distributions," in Ove Granstrand, ed., Economics, Law and Intellectual Property (Kluwer: 2003), pp. 279-309.

  (58) Co-author (with Dietmar Harhoff and Katrin Vopel), "Citations, Family Size, Opposition and the Value of Patent Rights," Research Policy, 2003.

  (59) "The Innovation Lottery," in Rochelle Dreyfuss et al., eds., Expanding the Boundaries of Intellectual Property (Oxford University Press: 2001), pp. 3-21.

  (60) "The Pharmaceutical Industry," in A. J. Culyer and J. P. Newhouse, eds., Handbook of Health Economics (Elsevier: 2000), pp. 1298-1336.

  (61) "The Economics of Innovation and Technological Change," International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences (2003), pp. 7530-7536.

  (62) "The Emigration of German-Speaking Economists after 1933," Journal of Economic Literature, vol. 38 (September 2000), pp. 614-626.

  (63)  "An Early Application of the Average Total Cost Concept," Journal of Economic Literature, September 2001, pp. 897-901.

  (64) "The Link from Gross Profitability to Pharmaceutical R&D Spending," Health Affairs, September/October 2001, pp. 216-220.

  (65) "The Merger Puzzle," in Wolfgang Franz et al., eds., Fusionen (Tuebingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2002), pp. 1-22.

  (66) Co-author (with Jayashree Watal), "Post-TRIPS Options for Access to Patented Medicines in Developing Nations," Journal of International Economic Law, December 2002, pp. 913-939.

  (67) "The Economics of Human Gene Patents," Academic Medicine, December 2002, Part 2, pp. 1348-1367.

  (68) "The Evolution of Free-Lance Music Composition, 1650-1900," Journal of Cultural Economics, November 2001, pp. 307-319. 

  (69) "Servility, Opportunity, and Freedom in the Choice of Music Composition as a Profession," The Musical Quarterly, Winter 2001, pp. 718-734.

  (70) "Technology Flows Matrix Estimation Revisited," Economic Systems Research, September 2003, pp. 327-358.

  (71) "A Note on Global Welfare in Pharmaceutical Patent Policy," The World Economy, July 2004, pp. 1127-1142.

  (72)  "The Pharmaceutical Industry: Prices and Progress," New England Journal of Medicine, August 26, 2004, pp. 927-932.

  (73)  "Schumpeter and the Micro-Foundations of Economic Growth," in Albert N. Link and F. M. Scherer, eds., Essays in Honor of Edwin Mansfield (Springer: 2005), pp. 15-26; and in Horst Hanusch and Andreas Pyka, eds., The Elgar Companion to Neo-Schumpeterian Economica (Elgar: 2007), pp. 671-687.

  (74)  "A New Retrospective on Mergers," Industrial Organization Review, June 2006, pp. 327-341.

  (75)  "Horst Hesse: A Cold War Military Intelligence Mole," Intelligence and National Security, April 2006, pp. 1-13.

  (75)  "An Industrial Organization Perspective on the Influenza Vaccine Shortage," Managerial and Decision Economics, Summer 2007, pp. 395-405.

  (77)  "Uncertainty and Choice:  The Challenges of Pharmaceutical Efficacy, Safety, and Cost," Managerial and Decision Economics, Summer 2007, pp. 267-283.

  (78)  "Corporate Structure and the Financial Support of U.S. Symphony Orchestras," Economia e Politica Industriale, vol. 33 (December 2007), pp. 51-64. 

  (79)  "Parallel Paths Revisited," John F. Kennedy School of Government working paper RWP07-040 (2007).

  (80)  "Technological Innovation and Monopolization," in W. D. Collins, ed., Issues in Competition Law and Policy (American Bar Association: 2008), vol. II, pp. 1033-1069.

  (81)  "Conservative Economics and Antitrust," in Robert Pitofsky, ed., How the Chicago School Overshot the Mark (Oxford University Press: 2008), pp. 30-39.

  (82)  "The Emergence of Musical Copyright in Europe from 1709 to 1850," Review of Economic Research on Copyright Issues, December 2008, pp. 3-18.

  (83)  "On the Paternity of a Market Delineation Approach," American Antitrust Association web site working paper, January 2009.

  (84)  "The Political Economy of Patent Policy Reform in the United States," Journal on Telecommunications and High-Technology Law, April 2009, pp. 101-148.

  (85)  "A Critical Review of the Dynamics and Regulation of Asian Pharmaceutical Industries," in Karen Eggleston, ed., Prescribing Cultures and Pharmaceutical Policy in the Asia-Pacific (Stanford University APARC: 2009), pp. 367-385.

  (86)  "Pharmaceutical Innovation," in Bronwyn Hall and Nathan Rosenberg, eds., Handbook of the Economics of Technological Innovation (North Holland: 2010), pp. 540-574.

  (87)  "A Perplexed Economist Confronts 'Too Big To Fail,'" The European Journal of Comparative Economics (2010, no. 2), pp. 267-284.

  (88)  "A Half Century of Research on Patent Economics," WIPO Journal, vol 2, no. 1 (2010).

  (89) "Abuse of Dominance by High-Technology Enterprises: A Comparison of U.S. and E.C. Approaches," Journal of Industrial and Business Economics, vol. 38 (March 2011), pp. 39-62.

  (90)  "The Dynamics of Capitalism," in Dennis Mueller, ed., The Oxford Handbook of Capitalism (2012), pp. 129-160.

  (91)  "Standard Oil as a Technological Innovator," Industrial Organization Review (May 2011), pp. 225-233.

  (92)  "Mergers and Innovation in the Pharmaceutical Industry" (with William S. Comanor), in the Journal of Health Economics, 2013, pp. 106-113.

  (93) "Financial Mergers and Their Consequences," in the Antitrust Law Journal (2012). 

  (94)  "Merger Efficiencies and Competition Policy," paper prepared for a conference of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (October 2012).

 (95) "R&D Costs and Productivity in Biopharmaceuticals," in the Encyclopedia of Health Economics (2013). 

 (96) “First-Mover Advantages and Optimal Patent Protection,” Journal of Technology Transfer (August 2015), pp. 559-580.