Faculty – Silke Forbes

Silke Forbes - Associate Professor, Economics
Associate Professor, Economics

Peter B. Lewis Building 268
Office Hours: By Appointment Only

Silke Forbes, Ph.D., holds an masters' degree in economics from the University of Mannheim in Germany and a doctorate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Personal Website
Curriculum Vita

PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2003
MA, University of Mannheim, 1999

Initially Appointed: 2012

Interests and Courses


Professor Forbes' research interests are in Industrial Organization, Organizational Economics, and Corporate Governance.

Dr. Forbes’ work has been published in numerous journals, including the American Economic Review, the RAND Journal of Economics, the International Journal of Industrial Organization, the Journal of Industrial Economics, and the Journal of Law, Economics, & Organization. She has received a faculty research grant from the National Science Foundation, graduate student fellowships from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and MIT, and a fellowship from the German National Merit Foundation.

Forbes’ current research studies how firms respond to programs which require them to disclose information on product quality. The study shows that some firms make efforts to manipulate the quality reports in their favor, and that this behavior is linked both to the way in which quality is reported and to the incentives given to the firms’ employees. In another study, Forbes investigates the switching costs patients face when they have to change primary care doctors. Using a data set from a large employer, the project compares the behavior of individuals who have the option of switching to a cheaper health insurance plan with or without having to change doctors.


Business Strategy, Industrial Organization, Organizational Economics

Recent Courses and Syllabi

Course evaluation ratings (login required)

Selected Publications

  • Forbes, S., Lederman, M., Tombe, T. (2015).
    Quality Disclosure Programs and Internal Organizational Practices: Evidence from Airline Flight Delays American Economic Journal: Microeconomics.
  • Forbes, S., Lederman, M. (2013).
    Contract Form and Technology Adoption in a Network Industry (vol. 29, issue 2, pp. 385-413). Journal of Law, Economics, & Organization.
  • Forbes, S., Gordon, N. E. (2012).
    When Educators are the Learners: Private Contracting by Public Schools B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, Contributions.
  • Forbes, S., Lederman, M. (2010).
    Does Vertical Integration Affect Firm Performance? Evidence from the Airline Industry (vol. 41, issue 4, pp. 765-790). RAND Journal of Economics.
  • Forbes, S., Lederman, M. (2009).
    Adaptation and Vertical Integration in the Airline Industry (vol. 99, issue 5, pp. 1831-1849). American Economic Review.
  • Forbes, S. (2008).
    The Effect of Air Traffic Delays on Airline Prices (vol. 26, issue 5, pp. 1218-1232). International Journal of Industrial Organization.
  • Forbes, S. (2008).
    The Effect of Service Quality and Expectations on Customer Complaints (vol. 56, issue 1, pp. 190-213).
  • Forbes, S., Lederman, M. (2007). In Darin Lee (Ed.),
    The Role of Regional Airlines in the U.S. Airline Industry (vol. II, ). Elsevier.
  • Forbes, S., Koke, J., Winter, J. K. (2002).
    Product market competition, corporate governance and firm performance: an empirical analysis for Germany (vol. 56, issue 3, pp. 299-322). Research in Economics.

Academic and Professional Activities

  • American Economic Association. 2003 - Present


  • Mather Spotlight Prize, Case Western Reserve University. (2013).
  • Graduate Student Research Fellowship, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. (2002).
  • MIT Economics Department Graudate Student Fellowship, (1999).
  • Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes, (1994).