Recent Papers

The new paper The Creative Development of Fields: Learning, Creativity, Paths, Implications  builds a model of the creative development of a field through the series of creative contributions individuals make. It links economics with the field of knowledge representation.


A first version of What is Taught in Core Micro Courses at Top US Doctoral Programs: Overlap and Diversity with Arthur Campbell is available. Look for a complete version this fall.


Unleashing Creative Development is published in the inaugural issue of the Kindai Management Review in the winter of 2013.



Jonathan Feinstein studies creativity, specifically creative development. While it is common to focus on the moment of inspiration as the essence of creativity, he takes a more encompassing and organic approach, studying how creativity and innovation are generated through an unfolding process of development. His work focuses on understanding how individuals form creative interests, and through exploring their interests gather elements from diverse sources, news rich, distinctive conceptual structures that are the basis for their creativity, insights, and innovations. He is the author of The Nature of Creative Development which describes this process with many examples drawn from a wide range of fields. His work extends from individual creativity to the study of the development of fields. In his view many creative links go unrecognized and unappreciated:  In the winding path of a person's creative development there are many influences that are not evident in that person's ultimate creative work but were essential to its creation.

Currently Jonathan's work focuses on linking creative development — modeled as a learning process guided by intuitive signals — with knowledge representation.  He is building a formal framework of how fields develop as new ideas / contributions are added.   In this approach a field has a structure resembling a lattice.

Professor Feinstein is committed to nurturing true creative development in educational and professional settings.  He lectures regularly on how to foster creative development in the classroom, focusing on unleashing students' creative development via independent student-directed exploration & projects.   He is currently working on a project with colleague Arthur Campbell studying what is taught in core graduate classes in economics, and building models of what should be taught in a core so as to provide the best foundation for frontier creative work.

Beyond his work on creativity, Professor Feinstein is an expert in tax compliance, detection, and models of auditing and compliance. His contributions in this area include the econometric model detection controlled estimation, which has had considerable practical application, game theory models of compliance and auditing, and a widely cited review of the tax compliance field. He is also the author of a well known review of the relationship between socioeconomic status and health.


Professor Feinstein will be attending the National Tax Association meetings in Santa Fe November 13-16.   As part of his trip he'll be staying at Georgia O'Keeffe's Ghost Ranch and exploring the incredible New Mexico landscape.


 Professor Feinstein is quoted in a Fast Company article "Can You Really Learn To Be More Creative?" (August 2014):

He speaks about his class on Creativity at Yale, some of the exercises students engage in, and the broad approach to creative development he takes.


Professor Feinstein was also quoted in a recent HBR article, "The Age of Modern HR."  He spoke about the importance of making creative connections between HR datasets and data from the rest of the org.