Timur Kuran is a Professor of Economics and Political Science and the Gorter Family Professor of Islamic Studies at Duke University. His work has paid close attention to market and political behavior under varying institutional designs and legal systems. He is particularly noted for his work on preference falsification, the idea that, in the political arena, agents commonly describe their goals in ways that make their behavior difficult to predict. 

He is the author of Private Truths, Public Lies: The Social Consequences of Preference Falsification (Harvard University Press); Islam and Mammon: The Economic Predicaments of Islamism (Princeton University Press); The Long Divergence: How Islamic Law Held Back the Middle East (Princeton University Press); and a tri-lingual edited work that consists of ten volumes, Socio-Economic Life in Seventeenth-century Istanbul: Glimpses from Court Records (İş Bank Publications).

Kuran holds a B.A. in economics from Princeton University and a Ph.D. in economics from Stanford University. Between 1982 and 2007 he taught at the University of Southern California. He has been a member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, the John Olin Visiting Professor at the Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago; and a visiting professor of economics at Stanford University.