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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

The Functions of the Stock Market and the Fallacies of Shareholder Value

Paper Working Paper Series | | Jun 2017

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.

How the U.S. New Economy Business Model has devalued science & engineering PhDs

Article | May 9, 2017

This note comments on Eric Weinstein’s, “How and Why Government, Universities, and Industries Create Domestic Labor Shortages of Scientists and High-Tech Workers,” posted recently on INET’s website.

Marketization and Financialization

Paper Commentary | | Apr 2017

How the U.S. New Economy Business Model Has Devalued Science and Engineering PhDs

A Public Comment on the SEC Pay Ratio Disclosure Rule

Article | Mar 29, 2017

In this comment, we explain our objections to the SEC’s current formulation of the Pay Ratio Disclosure Rule on each of three grounds: the erroneous estimation of CEO pay; the unclear specification of the “median” worker; and the risk of normalizing a pay ratio that is far too high. Then we present the latest data on the remuneration of the 500 highest-paid CEOs in the United States, demonstrating the way in which the SEC’s measure of CEO pay that enters into the CEO-to-median-worker pay ratio tends to systematically underestimate actual executive pay.

Featuring this expert

The Rise and Fall of the American Middle Class

Video | Apr 19, 2017

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.

Tomorrow’s Detroits & Detroit’s Tomorrows

Event Conference Race & Economics | Nov 11–12, 2016

Economics has a race problem.

Lazonick links stock buybacks to America’s jobs challenge

Video | Nov 4, 2016

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.

Yellen Challenges Economists Amid Elusive Great Recovery

Article | Oct 24, 2016

Like the Great Depression and the stagflation of the ’70s, the anemic growth of the U.S. economy can’t be understood or remedied without changes in economists’ thinking