Jonathan S. Feinstein

John G. Searle Professor of Economics and Management

Jonathan Feinstein is interested in creativity and innovation, specifically the paths of development of creative individuals, including entrepreneurs, inventors, artists and scientists. He is the author of The Nature of Creative Development (Stanford University Press, 2006). His class The Practice and Management of Creativity & Innovation was featured in the BusinessWeek Online article, "Creativity Comes to B-Schools" in the spring of 2006 and in Fast Company in 2014; he has been extensively cited and quoted in the media for his approach to creativity. He is also interested in creativity in education and the management of creativity.

Professor Feinstein’s current work focuses on formal models of creativity, centering on creative interests, learning, serendipity, and paths of development. What do we choose to learn and explore as we develop our creative interests and passions? What opportunities arise, which projects do we pursue?  His approach emphasizes the rich diverse patterns of development, unfolding over a few years or a lifetime. His work has roots in the classic principles of liberty and freedom of individual development, depicting the uniqueness of individuals in their creative development and potential. It also links economics with knowledge representation. His paper “Optimal Learning Patterns for Creativity Generation in a Field” was published in the American Economic Review Papers and Proceedings in 2011, “Unleashing Creative Development” was published in the Kindai Management Review in 2013, and his current working paper is “The Creative Development of Fields: Learning, Creativity, Paths, Implications.”

In addition to his class on creativity & innovation, Professor Feinstein teaches the electives Public Sector Economics and Statistical Modeling and runs the math bootcamp for incoming students. Professor Feinstein is an expert in the field of tax compliance and the analysis of audit and detection processes, and has written with Professor Ed Kaplan on counter-terrorism. He served as Director of the Yale Center for Business and the Environment during 2009-14.


  • PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1987
  • BA, Stanford University, 1982


Public Sector Economics (Part 1)
MGT 821
Creativity & Innovation
MGT 828
Statistical Modeling
MGT 829
Public Sector Economics (Part 2)
MGT 823
Design & Innovation
MGT 824
Probability Modeling & Statistics
MGT 403


Selected Books

J. Feinstein
Stanford Business Books

Selected Articles

J. S. Feinstein
Kindai Management Review
E. H. Kaplan and J. S. Feinstein
Military Operations Research
J. S. Feinstein and E. H. Kaplan
Public Choice
J. Feinstein
American Economic Review Paper and Proceedings
J. S. Feinstein and E. H. Kaplan
Journal of Conflict Resolution