Adi Osovsky

Adi Osovsky

Adi Osovsky

S.J.D. Candidate

aosovsky at





Against the Public Markets – Private Markets Dichotomy: Towards a New Approach to Investor Protection

The primary mission of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is to protect investors. However, current securities regulation clearly separates between public markets and private markets with regard to investor protection. Such a dichotomy is based on the assumption that investors in private markets are sophisticated and thus can “fend for themselves”. My dissertation will question this regulatory structure.  

First, I plan to use the financial and legal developments I described in my proposal (i.e., the emerging secondary market for private start-up stocks; the growing body of literature that undermines the assumptions regarding sophisticated investors; and the financial crisis of 2007-2009) as a starting point to explore the broader hypothesis that the wall traditionally separating between public markets and private markets has been cracked. Second, I will try to design a better regulatory system, one that is not dictated merely by the type of the market (public or private), but rather acknowledges the heterogeneity of investors in private markets. To this end, I will focus on three analytical perspectives that will enable me to identify the characteristics of private market investors: wealth, sophistication and rationality. A consequent challenge in my research will be to enhance investor protection without crippling the potential benefits of private markets, namely innovation and economic growth.

Fields of Research and Supervisors

  • Regulation of Securities Markets and Investor Protection with Professor Howell E. Jackson, Harvard Law School, Overall Faculty Supervisor
  • Corporate and Capital Markets: Theory and Policy with Professor Lucian A. Bebchuk, Harvard Law School
  • Behavioral Economics with Professor Brigitte Madrian, Harvard Kennedy School

Additional Research Interests

  • Regulation of Financial Institutions
  • Corporate Governance
  • Law and Economics
  • Class Actions


  • Harvard Law School, S.J.D. Candidate 2011-Present
  • Harvard Law School, LL.M. Program 2010-2011
  • Tel Aviv University, Israel, LL.B. 2005

Academic Appointments and Fellowships

  • Harvard Law School, 2012-2013, Graduate Program Fellow, Teaching Assistant, LL.M. Writing Workshop
  • Harvard Law School, Summer Academic Fellow, 2012
  • Harvard Law School, 2011-2012, Graduate Program Fellow, LL.M. Advisor

Representative Publications

  • The Curious Case of the Secondary Market with respect  to Investor Protection (working paper, 2013)
  • The Misconception of the Consumer as a Homo Economicus: A Behavioral Economic Approach to Consumer Protection in the Credit Reporting System, 46 Suffolk U.L. Rev. (forthcoming, 2013)
  • The Morrison Case as a Window to Institutional Investors' Motives in Securities Class Actions (April 20, 2012), available at SSRN:

Additional Information

  • English, Hebrew
  • CV

Last Updated: October 8, 2013

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