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Innovation and Development - Lazonick

Introduction Page


Sustainable Prosperity in the New Economy? book cover



ECON.4010: Special Topics in Economics: Researching Economies, Industries and Companies

Spring semester, 2017, Professor William Lazonick will teach Econ 4010-201. This class is indispensable for scholars who want to raise their research skills to the highest level. In the internet age the concept of research is undergoing radical revision, and Professor Lazonick brings his breadth of experience to the design of the course.

The Internet revolution has created easy access to vast amounts of information on the operation and performance of national economies, industrial sectors, and business enterprises. Some of this information is publicly available, using a search engine such as Google. Much more information can be found in UMass Lowell Library e-resources, which includes subscriptions to a large array of academic journals, e-books, digital archives, and news sources. This information makes it possible to do cutting-edge research on economies, industries, and companies that would have been extremely, and in some cases prohibitively, costly only twenty years ago. And the digitized sources of information are always increasing.
Researchers in Economics, Business, History and Entrepreneurship have much to gain from learning about the world beyond Google.

About the Class

Professor Lazonick is a seasoned researcher. Former RESD students have been working with him, learning how to use e-resources for various projects.  Here is a recent project on executive pay, using the ExecuComp database that has somewhat astonishing findings:  Matt Hopkins is a RESD graduate. He and Professor Lazonick published a summary of their findings in an article in The Atlantic in September:

To make use of this immense store of information, one needs an appropriate theoretical framework on the operation and performance of economies, industries, and companies. One also needs to acquire knowledge of the types of information available, their location, and their contents. This course provides students with both appropriate frameworks, including one rooted in Professor Lazonick’s “theory of innovative enterprise,” and instruction on where to find and how to use relevant information. The course will dig into exemplary publications on economies, industries, and companies to illustrate theoretical approaches and explain the sources of information. National economies that serve as case studies in the course include the United States, United Kingdom, Japan, and China. Industrial sectors include textiles, automobiles, aeronautics, microelectronics, communications, and pharmaceuticals. Business enterprises include Apple, Cisco, IBM, Merck, Pfizer, and Rolls Royce.

Winner of 2014 HBR McKinsey Award

William Lazonick is the 2014 HBR McKinsey Award winner for his September article “Profits Without Prosperity.” The HBR McKinsey Awards, judged by an independent panel of business and academic leaders, commend outstanding articles published each year in Harvard Business Review. The awards were established in 1959 to recognize practical and groundbreaking management thinking.

University of Massachusetts Lowell Accessibility Statement

The University of Massachusetts Lowell is committed to providing access, equal opportunity and reasonable accommodations in its services, programs, activities, education and employment for individuals with disabilities.

"The power of the Web is in its universality. Access by everyone regardless of disability is an essential aspect." -Tim Berners-Lee, W3C Director and inventor of the World Wide Web.

If you require a reasonable accommodation, please direct your inquiries to:
Students - please contact Student Disability Services at 978-934-6800 or email

Faculty, staff, and visitors - please contact the ADA Deputy Coordinator at 978-934-3566 or email