Internationally Known Economist William Lazonick Speaks at RIT

Expert discusses the causes of current economic crisis and possible solutions

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William Lazonick, professor of economics and director of the Center for Industrial Competitiveness at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, will give two lectures about innovation and the economic crisis at Rochester Institute of Technology on Monday, Nov. 2.

The first on “The Theory of Innovative Enterprise,” as part of RIT’s Gosnell Lecture series, will take place at 3 p.m. in the Webb Auditorium. Lazonick discusses competing theories on business creation and how the development of the innovative enterprise has impacted the relationship between individual firms and broader markets; resource allocation that can raise standards of living; and government economic policy.

The second lecture, based on Lazonick’s new book, Sustainable Prosperity in the New Economy?: Business Organization & High Tech Employment in the United States, takes place at 6 p.m. in RIT’s Carlson Auditorium. Sustainable Prosperity describes a dramatic transformation in the dominant mode of business organization in high-technology companies from an “Old Economy Business Model” to a “New Economy Business Model.” Although the new economy model has been central to the microelectronics revolution, it has also been a source of employment instability and inequity in the distribution of income. Lazonick explores the origins of this new era of employment insecurity and income inequality, its role in the current economic crisis and considers what governments, businesses and individuals can do about it.

The evening event will be followed by a book signing, and both presentations are free and open to the public.

For close to three decades, Lazonick has studied the transformation of the U.S. industrial sector and the consequences of these changes for American workers, businesses and government policy. He is the author or editor of 12 books and previously served as the president of the Business History Conference, the first economist to be chosen to hold that position. Lazonick has also served on the faculties of Harvard University, Columbia University and INSEAD.