Christopher R. Esposito

Chris is the Osborne Postdoctoral Fellow in the Strategy Unit at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management, where he is also associated with the Price Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. He was previously a postdoctoral fellow at the Mansueto Institute for Urban Innovation and the Knowledge Lab at the University of Chicago. He received his Ph.D. from the UCLA Department of Geography in June 2021.

Chris studies how newcomers can break into and succeed in the innovative economy, despite the odds stacked against them. He studies these opportunities at multiple scales, from individual inventors and organizations, to larger and more complex units of coordination, including cities and countries. His dissertation analyzed 170 years of data to understand how new cities in U.S. grew to become centers for innovation and economic prosperity, even when they had few local advantages to spur local growth in their earliest years. In his more recent research, he shows that the opportunities for individuals to break into and lead the innovative economy are abundant, and that the most useful technological ideas are often developed by newcomers rather than incumbent individuals.