William Lazonick

University of Massachusetts Lowell

William Lazonick is a professor at University of Massachusetts Lowell, where he directs the Center for Industrial Competitiveness. He is also an invited professor at the University of Bordeaux , where he is collaborating on FINNOV. He is an internationally known economist with extensive publications. His book, Sustainable Prosperity in the New Economy? Business Organization and High-Tech Employment in the United States (Upjohn Institute 2009), has been awarded the 2010 International Schumpeter Prize. From INSEAD, where he was formerly Distinguished Research Professor, he coordinated the European project on “Corporate Governance, Innovation and Economic Performance in the EU” (CGEP), FP4, and participated to ESEMK, FP6.

During recent years, he has developed a theoretical approach to the innovative enterprise in which finance and corporate governance play critical roles. For more information please visit theAIRnet website.

Contact information

Tel: +1 617-576-0880

Blog posts

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 executives of U.S. business corporations goes well beyond the Wall Street banks. It pervades industrial as well as financial corporations.

Maximizing shareholder value through stock buybacks has become an economic religion in the U.S., and corporate executives and board members are its chief acolytes.

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 from now, I would not bet on its success. The U.S. jobs problem is deeply structural, and requires a transformative plan for a solution.

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 the Japanese mounted a successful economic challenge to the United States in a range of industries, including steel, machine tools, memory chips, consumer electronics, and automobiles. Since then, among Asian nations, South Korea, Taiwan, China, and India have become major global competitors in industries that the United States used to dominate. In historical retrospect, U.S. industrial power has never been quite the same.

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 of society’s resources occurs when perfect competition characterizes the organization of industry.