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Ian Ayres

Lawyer, Economist & New York Times Best-Selling Author


Ian Ayres is a lawyer and economist, as well as the William K. Townsend Professor at Yale Law School, the Anne Urowsky Professorial Fellow in Law, and a Professor at Yale's School of Management.

He is a columnist for Forbes magazine, writes for the New York Times Freakonomics blog, and has been a commentator on public radio's "Marketplace." His research has been featured on Primetime Live, The Oprah Winfrey Show, and Good Morning America, and in Time and Vogue magazines.

Ayres has published 11 books (including the New York Times bestseller Super Crunchers) and over 100 articles on a wide range of topics. His latest book is Carrots and Sticks: Unlock the Power of Incentives to Get Things Done. In 2010, he also published Lifecycle Investing, with Barry Nalebuff. He is a co-founder of, a web site that helps you stick to your goals.

In 2006, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His book with Greg Klass, Insincere Promises: The Law of Misrepresented Intent, won the 2006 Scribes book award "for the best work of legal scholarship published during the previous year." Ayres has been ranked as one of the most prolific and most-cited law professors of his generation. The Chronicle of Higher Education referred to Ayres as "a law-and-economics guru."

Ayres was born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri, received his B.A. (majoring in Russian studies and economics) and J.D. from Yale, and his Ph.D in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He clerked for the Honorable James K. Logan of the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, and has previously taught at Harvard, Illinois, Northwestern, Stanford, and Virginia law schools and has been a research fellow of the American Bar Foundation. From 2002 to 2009, he was the editor of the Journal of Law, Economics and Organization.

In the spring of 2005, he published three books, Straightforward, with Jennifer Gerarda Brown; Optional Law; and Insincere Promises, with Gregory Klass. He is also the author of Why Not? (2003, with Barry Nalebuff); Voting with Dollars (2002, with Bruce Ackerman); and Pervasive Prejudice? (2001).


Super Crunchers: Predictive Analytics & Data-Driven Decision Making

Gone are the days of solely relying on intuition or yesterday's data to make decisions. A new breed of decision makers is increasingly calling the shots and delivering amazingly accurate results by harnessing collective intelligence. Who are they? Super Crunchers.

Those who want to be competitive need to understand how Super Crunchers are increasingly determining - or at least predicting - consumer and business choices. Ayres describes this revolutionary trend in this keynote, based on his best-selling book, Super Crunchers: Why Thinking-by-Numbers Is the New Way to Be Smart. He explains how, by analyzing millions of bytes of information, companies can gain greater insights into human behavior and the ability to predict the future with staggeringly accurate results. Ayres helps audiences understand how they can succeed in a data-based world by providing a better understanding of how to analyze massive amounts of data at lightning speeds and impact decisions in real time.

Why Not? How to Use Everyday Ingenuity to Solve Problems Big & Small

Personal & Institutional Risk Management & Investment Strategies

Lifecycle Investing: Advantages of Time Diversification

Carrots & Sticks: Unlock the Power of Incentives to Get Things Done

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