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. 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

Stock Buybacks Hurt Workers and the Economy. We Should Ban Them.

Article | Feb 27, 2018

Workers, innovation, and productivity all suffer when corporations spend their new U.S. tax breaks on stock buybacks.

Innovative Enterprise and Sustainable Prosperity

Paper Conference paper | | Oct 2017

We want an economy that generates stable and equitable growth—or what I call “sustainable prosperity.” We want productivity growth that makes it possible for the population to have higher living standards over time. We want an equitable sharing of the gains from productivity growth among those whose work efforts and financial resources contribute to that growth. And we want sufficient job stability to enable workers to remain in productive employment for some four decades at work while providing them with enough savings to provide them with adequate incomes over some two decades of retirement.

Innovative Enterprise Solves the Agency Problem

Paper Working paper | | Oct 2017

The Theory of the Firm, Financial Flows, and Economic Performance

How “Shareholder Value” is Killing Innovation

Article | Jul 31, 2017

The prevailing stock market ideology enriches value extractors, not value creators

Featuring this expert

CNN: Democrats Plan Crackdown on Booming Stock Buybacks

News Mar 21, 2018

INET grantee William Lazonick explains why Sen. Tammy Baldwin is proposing to ban stock buybacks.

CNN: Are Stock Buybacks Deepening America's Inequality?

News Mar 5, 2018

One of Wall Street’s favorite tools could be deepening the growing chasm between America’s rich and poor, according to INET grantee William Lazonick.

CNN: Tax cut scoreboard: Workers $6 billion; Shareholders $171 billion

News Feb 16, 2018

INET grantee William Lazonick explains how the Trump tax cut is resulting in buybacks on Wall Street and bonuses for CEOs

Washington Post: Don’t Let Pay Increases Coming Out of Tax Reform Fool You

News Feb 6, 2018

In their op-ed in the Washington Post, INET grantee William Lazonick and Rick Wartzman show how companies are spending their tax savings on investors, not workers.