Jim Malcomson completed his doctorate at Harvard in 1972 and subsequently taught at the Universities of York and Southampton. He is currently Professor of Economics at the University of Oxford and Fellow of All Souls College. His research focuses on contracts and incentives, especially their implications for labour markets (wages, unemployment) and for provision of health services. He was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 2000 and a Fellow of the Econometric Society in 2005.

He joined IZA as a Research Fellow in December 2003.