Michael Klein

Assistant Professor, Undergraduate Program Director
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I joined the faculty of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute as an Assistant Professor of Economics in Fall 2018. I study innovation and economic growth in the context of an interconnected global economy. My current work focuses on policy issues related to the international protection of intellectual property. Examples include analyses of the international market for counterfeit products, technology transfer to developing economies through multinational firms, and the implications of firm patenting behavior across markets.

Education & Training

Ph.D. in Economics, Indiana University, 2018

B.S. in Economics, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2012


Selected Publications: 

  • "The Reward and Contract Theories of Patents in a Model of Endogenous Growth" European Economic Review, 147: 104178, 2022 

  • "Patents, Trade Secrets and International Technology Transfer" - Economics Letters, 210: 110180, 2022

  • "Secrecy, the Patent Puzzle and Endogenous Growth" - European Economic Review, 126: 103445, 2020. 

  • "Complementarity in Public and Private Intellectual Property Enforcement; Implications for International Standards" - Oxford Economic Papers, 72(3): 748-771, 2020

  • "Establishment Productivity Convergence and the Effect of Foreign Ownership at the Frontier" - World Development, 122: 245-260, 2019

  • "Foreign Direct Investment and Collective Intellectual Property Protection in Developing Countries" - Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 149: 389-412, 2018.

Primary Research Focus
Economic growth, Innovation, Intellectual property rights, International economics


Current Courses

Applied Microeconomics and Public Policy: ECON 4010/6010

We study foundational theory for a diverse set of topics including models of consumer choice and decision-making, decisions under uncertainty and risk, firm strategy, market structure, information asymmetries, market failure, and intellectual property rights. Using this theory, we examine real world policy applications in areas such as innovation policy, environmental policy, international trade regulations, contract design and insurance markets.

Prerequisites: ECON 2010.


Economics of Growth and Innovation: ECON 4430/6130

This course introduces core topics in the study of economic growth. We develop the dynamic theoretical models that comprise the modern framework for understanding national and international growth. We examine the endogenous determinants of technological innovation and evaluate the institutions and policies that affect growth. Examples include education policy, infrastructure, judicial systems, and variations in intellectual property rights. We explore the growth consequences of an increasingly interconnected global economy. Related topics include international regulations, technology diffusion, economic development, and multinational firms. Theories of growth are critically examined against empirical fact.

Prerequisites: ECON 2020.


International Economics and Globalization: ECON 4190

This course provides a broad perspective on the critical issues surrounding economic globalization. We develop foundational theoretical models of international trade and apply them to a number of specific, interrelated topics: international trade and financial flows, the roles of national governments and international regulatory bodies, technological innovation and intellectual property, and social and demographic changes. We identify the major controversies regarding globalization and use an evidence-based approach to evaluate them.

Prerequisites: IHSS 1200 or ECON 1200.


The following is a selection of recent publications in Scopus. Michael Klein has 9 indexed publications in the subjects of Economics, Econometrics and Finance, Social Sciences, Business, Management and Accounting.

Claudia Canals, Michael A. Klein, Fuat Şener
Review of International Economics
, 31
, 2023
, pp.1442-1475
Michael A. Klein
International Economics
, 173
, 2023
, pp.325-342
Michael A. Klein, Fuat Şener
Review of Economic Dynamics
, 48
, 2023
, pp.178-201
Michael A. Klein
European Economic Review
, 147
, 2022
Michael A. Klein
Economics Letters
, 210
, 2022
Michael A. Klein
European Economic Review
, 126
, 2020
Michael A. Klein
World Development
, 122
, 2019
, pp.245-260
Michael A. Klein
Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization
, 149
, 2018
, pp.389-412

View All Scopus Publications

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