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William Lazonick
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William Lazonick is professor of economics and director of the UMass Center for Industrial Competitiveness. He co-founded and is president of The Academic-Industry Research Network ( He is also affiliated the University of Bordeaux, University of Ljubljana, and University of Toulouse. Previously, Lazonick was Assistant and Associate Professor of Economics at Harvard University, Professor of Economics at Barnard College of Columbia University, and Distinguished Research Professor at INSEAD. He has also been on the faculties of the University of Tokyo, Harvard Business School, and University of Toronto, and was a visiting member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton . Numerous governmental agencies and private foundations in Europe, the United States, and Japan have funded his research.

He is the author or editor of twelve books, including Competitive Advantage of the Shop Floor (Harvard University Press, 1990) and Business Organization and the Myth of the Market Economy (Cambridge University Press, 1991), and some 100 academic articles. His book, Sustainable Prosperity in the New Economy? Business Organization and High-Tech Employment in the United States (Upjohn Institute, 2009) won the 2010 Schumpeter Prize. In recent years many of his books have been translated into Chinese. He is currently working on a book, The Theory of Innovative Enterprise, to be published by Oxford University Press.

Professor Lazonick holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Toronto (1968), a Master of Science degree in economics from the London School of Economics (1969), and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in economics from Harvard University (1975). In 1991 Uppsala University awarded him an honorary doctorate for his work on the theory and history of economic development.

Entries by William Lazonick

Tax Dodging Just One Part of Pfizer's Corrupt Business Model

(0) Comments | Posted December 4, 2015 | 2:58 PM

*This post orginally appeared on the blog of the Institute for New Economic Thinking. Oner Tulum and Matt Hopkins contributed to this post.

There’s plenty that doesn’t add up about Pfizer’s claim that the low Irish tax rates it will pay by merging with Allergan are necessary if the...

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Robots Don't Destroy Jobs; Rapacious Corporate Executives Do

(58) Comments | Posted January 2, 2013 | 11:09 AM

Americans are understandably upset about profits without prosperity. Corporate executives seem to be the big winners, while the middle class is declining and young people face a bleak economic future. How did this happen? It's easy to blame technology, especially the automation that supposedly displaces workers. But that's not the...

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How High CEO Pay Hurts the 99 Percent

(133) Comments | Posted April 4, 2012 | 1:41 PM


Corporations are not working for the 99 percent. But this wasn’t always the case. In a special five-part AlterNet series, William Lazonick, professor at UMass, president of the Academic-Industry Research Network, and a leading expert on the...

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How American Corporations Transformed From Producers to Predators

(439) Comments | Posted April 3, 2012 | 12:23 PM

2012-04-03-Graphmanresized.jpgCorporations are not working for the 99 percent. But this wasn’t always the case. In a special five-part series, William Lazonick, professor at UMass, president of the Academic-Industry Research Network, and a leading expert on the business corporation, along...

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Occupy Wall Street's Outrage at Greed Can Expand to Corporate Stock Manipulation

(5) Comments | Posted October 6, 2011 | 4:28 PM

Rather than invest profits in building a strong economy, corporate executives invest in their own pay.

Occupy Wall Street is keeping our focus on the insatiable greed and undemocratic influence of those who run our major financial institutions. But the quest for personal wealth and political power by the top...

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There Went the Sun: Renewable Energy Needs Patient Capital

(161) Comments | Posted September 23, 2011 | 7:38 PM

Co-authored with Matt Hopkins

Cross-posted from New Deal 2.0

Solyndra, a venture-backed solar panel maker founded in 2005, was the poster child of the Obama administration's American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). It was the first company to receive federal loan guarantees under the already existing Energy Policy...

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A Transformative Jobs Plan: What's Good for IBM's Top Executives Is Not Good for the U.S.

(0) Comments | Posted September 15, 2011 | 4:31 PM

Cross-posted from New Deal 2.0.

With the unemployment rate still at over 9 percent and the U.S. economy facing a possible double-dip recession, President Obama's jobs plan can only help. If, however, the main point of the plan is to put the employment situation in decent shape by a year...

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Nine Government Investments That Made Us an Industrial Economic Leader

(31) Comments | Posted September 8, 2011 | 2:55 PM

The U.S. does have an investment problem, but the blame lies with Big Business, not Big Government.

Remember when the United States led the world in industrial technology? The peak of U.S. supremacy was back in the 1960s, when the "military-industrial complex" was in full force. Then in the mid-1970s...

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What's "Perfect" About Perfect Competition? A Prosperous Economy Needs Innovators

(26) Comments | Posted September 1, 2011 | 6:45 PM

Cross-posted from New Deal 2.0:

To claim that something is "perfect" is to say that it cannot be done better. With the start of another academic year, hundreds of thousands of college students who take introductory microeconomics courses will learn from their professors that the best possible allocation...

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All the Cars in China: How American Workers Can Gain From Chinese Growth

(5) Comments | Posted August 25, 2011 | 6:05 PM

If you want to talk job creation, let's talk China. While the United States suffers through a prolonged jobless recovery, with another recession on the horizon, the Chinese economy has continued to boom. In the second quarter of 2011 the China's GDP growth rate slowed to 9.5% year-on-year, down...

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The Global Tax Dodgers: Why President Obama and Congress Lack Job Creation Plans

(12) Comments | Posted August 18, 2011 | 2:09 PM

Cross-posted from New Deal 2.0.

As is only too well known, for the last decade U.S.-based business corporations have been engaged in the massive offshoring of good jobs to high-growth, low-wage areas of the world, especially China and India. In general, these companies have found offshoring to be...

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Sky-High Executive Compensation Kills Jobs, Innovation, and Prosperity

(53) Comments | Posted July 14, 2011 | 7:19 PM

Focusing on shareholder return is a very bad way for companies to govern the allocation of their resources. Public shareholders simply trade outstanding stock, but taxpayers and workers make risky investments in the innovation process and should be able to lay claim to a fair share of the...

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How 'Maximizing Value' for Shareholders Robs Workers and Taxpayers

(83) Comments | Posted July 7, 2011 | 5:42 PM

Want to solve the mystery of the American economy's current employment and competitiveness problems? Take a close look at the current corporate obsession with "maximizing shareholder value." It sounds like a sound business principle, but in reality, it's based on a flawed ideology that leaves something crucial out of the...

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High Health Care Costs Emanate From Business, Not Government

(191) Comments | Posted September 23, 2010 | 9:41 AM

At one of the town hall meetings that preceded the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), President Barack Obama read an exhortation from a woman enrolled in Medicare: "I don't want government-run health care. I don't want socialized medicine. And don't touch my Medicare.'" This woman should perhaps now...

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Insurance Executives: A Big Part of Our Health Care Problem

(8) Comments | Posted March 16, 2010 | 2:35 PM

Among the most powerful and vociferous opponents of health care reform are the executives of publicly listed health insurance companies and their lobbyists. The prime concern of these executives is that, by ensuring that Americans will have the access to better, or even some, health care coverage at affordable costs,...

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