William Lazonick is professor of economics at University of Massachusetts Lowell. He is also visiting professor at University of Ljubljana, professeur associé at Institut Mines-Télécom in Paris, and professorial research associate, SOAS, University of London. He is co-founder and president of the Academic-Industry Research Network, a 501(c)(3) research organization. Previously, he was on the faculties of Harvard University, Columbia University, INSEAD, and University of Tokyo. 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. His article “Profits Without Prosperity: Stock Buybacks Manipulate the Market and Leave Most Americans Worse Off,” earned the HBR McKinsey Award for outstanding article in Harvard Business Review in 2014. His most recent papers include “Stock Buybacks: From Retain-and-Reinvest to Downsize-and-Distribute”; “Innovative Enterprise or Sweatshop Economics? In Search of Foundations of Economic Analysis”; “U.S. Pharma’s Business Model: Why It Is Broken and How It Can Be Fixed” (see submissions #1 and #2 to the UN High-Level Panel on Access to Medicines); and “The Mismeasure of Mammon: The Uses and Abuses of Executive Pay Data.”.” His recent research has been funded by the Institute for New Economic Thinking, Ford Foundation, and European Commission. Lazonick has a BCom from University of Toronto, MSc in economics from London School of Economics, a PhD in economics from Harvard University, and an honorary doctorate from Uppsala University. In December 2016 Lazonick will receive an honorary doctorate from University of Ljubljana.
By this expert
There is much for U.S. authorities to learn from the European example of forcing corporations to pay their fair share of taxes, but more far-reaching oversight of executives’ allocation of resources is also required
The prevailing stock market ideology enriches value extractors, not value creators
Price gouging in the US pharmaceutical drug industry goes back more than three decades.
Conventional wisdom has it that the primary function of the stock market is to raise cash for companies for the purpose of investing in productive capabilities. The conventional wisdom is wrong.
Featuring this expert
Lazonick discusses how we evolved from a society in which corporate interests were largely aligned with those of broader public purpose into a state where crony capitalism, accounting fraud, and corporate predation are predominant characteristics.
How rationalization, marketization, and globalization characterize the U.S. economy during the past 50 years, and how the behavior of companies and fate of American workers have changed during this process.
Economics has a race problem.
In an Al Jazeera documentary “In Search of the Great American Job”, Institute scholar William Lazonick offers some arch insights into the relationship between financialization — particularly the “shareholder value” ideology in corporations, which drives the transfer of profits to shareholders through stock buybacks — and job creation and inequality.