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

Employment and Earnings of African Americans Fifty Years After: Progress?

Paper Working Paper Series | | Jul 2020

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

The $5.3 Trillion Question Behind America’s COVID-19 Failure

Article | Jul 24, 2020

That’s the amount of buybacks U.S. corporations funneled to shareholders during the past decade—rather than invest in technologies for the common good. This article is being published jointly by INET and The American Prospect

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

Featuring this expert

The Myth of Maximizing Shareholder Value

Video | Jan 22, 2014

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.

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?

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.