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

China’s Development Path: Indigenous Innovation and Global Competition

Article | Aug 22, 2022

China’s successful technological development path stands in contrast to the corporate financialization model in the United States

China’s Development Path: Government, Business, and Globalization in an Innovating Economy

Paper Working Paper Series | | Aug 2022

China’s successful technological development path stands in contrast to the corporate financialization model in the United States

Letter to SEC: How Stock Buybacks Undermine Investment in Innovation for the Sake of Stock-Price Manipulation

Article | Apr 1, 2022

A comment on the Securities and Exchange Commission’s proposed rule “Share Repurchase Disclosure Modernization”

Investing in Innovation: A Policy Framework for Attaining Sustainable Prosperity in the United States

Paper Working Paper | | Apr 2022

Business firms are not alone in making investments in the productive capabilities required to generate innovative goods and services. Household units and government agencies also make investments in productive capabilities upon which business firms rely for their own investment activities.

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YSI 2020 Plenary: New Economic Questions

Young Scholars Initiative Virtual Plenary

YSI Event Plenary YSI | Nov 6–15, 2020

What are the 100 most pertinent economic questions facing our global societ?

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