William Lazonick, professor emeritus of economics at University of Massachusetts, is co-founder and president of the Academic-Industry Research Network, a 501(c)(3) non-profit research organization, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He is an Open Society Fellow and a Canadian Institute for Advanced Research Fellow.Over the past decade, the Institute for New Economic Thinking has funded a number of his research projects.

He has professorial affiliations with SOAS University of London and Institut Mines-Télécom in Paris. 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 in France. Lazonick earned his B.Com. at the University of Toronto, M.Sc. in Economics at London School of Economics, and Ph.D. in Economics at Harvard University. He holds honorary doctorates from Uppsala University and the University of Ljubljana.

His research focuses on the social conditions of innovation and economic development in advanced and emerging economies. 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. He has twice—in 1983 and 2010—had the award from Harvard Business School for best article of the year in Business History Review. In 2014, he received the HBR McKinsey Award for outstanding article in Harvard Business Review for “Profits Without Prosperity: Stock Buybacks Manipulate the Market and Leave Most Americans Worse Off.” In January 2020, Oxford University Press published his book, co-authored with Jang-Sup Shin, Predatory Value Extraction: How the Looting of the Business Corporation Became the U.S. Norm and How Sustainable Prosperity Can Be Restored.

By this expert

How “Maximizing Shareholder Value” Minimized the Strategic National Stockpile: The $5.3 Trillion Question for Pandemic Preparedness Raised by the Ventilator Fiasco

Paper Working Paper | | Jul 2020

The success of projects for pandemic preparedness and response depends on the strength of government-business collaborations.

There Can Be No Equality Without a Dramatic Renewal of Employment Opportunity for All American Workers

Article | Jul 16, 2020

To fulfill MLK’s vision of jobs and freedom for Black Americans, Washington must rein in corporate greed

How the Disappearance of Unionized Jobs Obliterated an Emergent Black Middle Class

Article | Jun 15, 2020

Since the 1980s, the enemy of equal employment opportunity through upward socioeconomic mobility has been the pervasive and entrenched corporate-governance ideology and practice of maximizing shareholder value.

How the Disappearance of Unionized Jobs Obliterated an Emergent Black Middle Class

Paper Working Paper Series | | Jun 2020

In this introduction to our project, “Fifty Years After: Black Employment in the United States Under the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission,” we outline the socioeconomic forces behind the promising rise and disastrous fall of an African American blue-collar middle class.

Featuring this expert

William Lazonick's research on stock buybacks is featured in Retail Dive

News Nov 3, 2020

William Lazonick, president of the Academic-Industry Research Network and a professor emeritus of economics at the University of Massachusetts, who has devoted much of his research to the topic of buybacks, has written that the rule change “in effect gave corporations license to use open-market repurchases to manipulate the market.” … In an interview, Lazonick told Retail Dive, “These distributions to shareholders, particularly buybacks on top of dividends, are at the expense of keeping people employed, rewarding them for the work they’ve done, and investing in new products and processes.”

William Lazonick is quoted in on the stock market practices of Big Pharma

News Oct 29, 2020

“Executives have an interest in getting the stock price up and price gouging customers is one way they can do this,” said William Lazonick, professor emeritus of economics at University of Massachusetts and co-founder of the Academic-Industry Research Network. While many drug companies argue that they use their vast profits to fund ongoing pharmaceutical innovation, Lazonick said, “we’ve shown that most of these companies don’t do that.” Instead, the soaring prices fuel soaring stock prices and executive pay, which is often based largely on that price.” — INET Grantee William Lazonick

Top Economist: Instead of Basic Income, Let’s Keep People Working Productively During the Crisis

Article | Mar 25, 2020

William Lazonick emphasizes that keeping workers productively employed is key to economic recovery from Covid-19 as well as a healthy economic future

Banning Buybacks

Video | Dec 4, 2019

Stock buybacks are giveaways for greedy investors at the expense of everyone else.