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About theAIRnet

The Academic-Industry Research Network – theAIRnet – is a private, 501(c)(3) not-for-profit research organization devoted to the proposition that a sound understanding of the dynamics of industrial development requires collaboration between academic scholars and industry experts. We engage in up-to-date, in-depth, and incisive research and commentary on issues related to industrial innovation and economic development. Our goal is to understand the ways in which, through innovation, businesses and governments can contribute to equitable and stable economic growth – or what we call “sustainable prosperity”.  (read more)

As a research organization, theAIRnet prides itself on its systematic scholarly research, while recognizing that it is impossible for academics to possess the deep knowledge of the operation of companies and industries that can only come from years, and usually decades, of practical experience. In theAIRnet, industrial practitioners appreciate the research tools with which academics work and their willingness to integrate theory and reality, while academic scholars appreciate the profound, and irreplaceable, knowledge of practitioners and their willingness to ask questions about the economy and society that transcend the immediate operational concerns of their own companies and industries.

The funding for our research comes from public and private agencies that seek contributions to knowledge about how and under what conditions the operation of the economy can result in stable and equitable growth – and what can be done to reform its operation when it does not. We are particularly interested in understanding the relation between “the productive economy” and “the financial economy”, and how the former can make use of, rather than be abused by, the latter.

In principle, we make the findings of our research freely available in the forms of working papers and reports, although most of our research ultimately ends up in scholarly journals and commercially published books. We also seek to disseminate our research findings to a wider informed public through the news media and a variety of public events.

Featured Research


Profits Without Prosperity – Stock Buybacks Manipulate the Market and Leave Most Americans Worse Off

September’s Harvard Business Review, which features theAIRnet President William Lazonick’s new article,”Profits Without Prosperity – Stock Buybacks Manipulate the Market and Leave Most Americans Worse Off,” is now available online.

THE IDEA IN BRIEF

HBR_Sep14_Cover
THE PROBLEM
Corporate profitability is not translating into economic prosperity in the United States. Instead of investing profits in innovation and productive capabilities, U.S. executives are spending them on gigantic stock repurchases.
THE RESEARCH
These buybacks may increase stock prices in the short term, but in the long term they undermine income equality, job stability, and growth. The buybacks mostly serve the interests of executives, much of whose compensation is in the form of stock.
THE SOLUTION
Corporations should be banned from repurchasing their shares on the open market. Executives’ excessive stock-based pay should be reined in. Workers and taxpayers should be represented on corporate boards. And Congress should reform the tax system so that it rewards value creation, not value extraction.

RESEARCH UPDATE: Stock buybacks, 2004-2013 & Stock-based components of executive pay, 2006-2012

theAIRnet News

How Corporate Share Buybacks Are Destroying America

How Corporate Share Buybacks Are Destroying America


September 2, 2014   

by  Joshua Brown, The Reformed Broker - This weekend’s must-read is quite apropos of today’s holiday. ‘Profits Without Prosperity’, an incredible […]

Harold Meyerson: In corporations, it’s owner-take-all

Harold Meyerson: In corporations, it’s owner-take-all


August 27, 2014   

  Labor Day — that mocking reminder that this nation once honored workers — is upon us again, posing the […]

The 1 percent’s devious new scheme: How CEOs are getting rich at your expense

The 1 percent’s devious new scheme: How CEOs are getting rich at your expense


August 25, 2014   

An expert explains our growing obsession with stock buybacks — and how they’re driving U.S. income inequality purpose: to manipulate […]

From the Editor: A Call for Courage

From the Editor: A Call for Courage


August 14, 2014   

by Adi Ignatius, Editor in Chief Harvard Business Review It’s been five years since the official end of the Great […]

AIR Working Papers

Events

Berlin Conference on Financial Institutions for Innovation and Development November 10-11, 2014
Sponsors: Ford Foundation & Hans Böckler Stiftung
Organizers: Leonardo Burlamaqui, Michael Faust, Jürgen Kädtler, William Lazonick Venue: Auditorium Friedrichstrasse, Friedrichstrasse 180 10117 Berlin

penrose

Edith Penrose Centenary Conference: A celebration of the work and legacy of the influential economist
November 14-15, 2014
Sponsors: University of London, INSEAD, The Oxford Institute of Energy Studies Venue: School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London

huawei

On August 11-13, 2014, Bill Lazonick, president of theAIRnet, and two AIR associates, Kaidong Feng of Peking University and Yin Li of Georgia Institute of Technology, visited Huawei Technologies in Shenzhen, China, to learn about how, in just over 25 years, the company grew to become a world leader in  

communication equipment and China’s foremost example of a global high-tech competitor. Their study of Huawei is part of a project on innovation and competition in the global communication technology that is a major focus of theAIRnet’s research efforts.

News from theAIRnet

Lazonick gave an interview to AlterNet on stock buybacks


August 21, 2014   

In August 2014, theAIRnet president William Lazonick gave an interview to Lynn Parramore of AlterNet on “the widespread and little-understood […]

Yves Smith discusses “The Myth of Maximizing Shareholder Value”


February 1, 2014   

On January 24, Yves Smith, creator of Naked Capitalism, discusses “The Myth of Maximizing Shareholder Value” and theAIRnet president Bill […]

Washington Post ran two articles


December 20, 2013   

In December 2013, drawing on the research of theAIRnet president, Bill Lazonick, the Washington Post ran two articles, one by Jia […]

Twitter   @ theAIRnet

 

Twitter   From theAIRnet Youtube Channel

Featured Publications

The Third Globalization

The Third Globalization: Can Wealthy Nations Stay Rich in the 21st Century?Edited By D. Breznitz & J. Zysman

Corporate Governance, Employee Voice, and Work Organization

Corporate Governance, Employee Voice, and Work Organization

Inge Lippert, Tony Huzzard, Ulrich Jürgens & William Lazonick

Beyond Shareholder Value: The reasons and choices for corporate governance reform

Beyond Shareholder Value: The reasons and choices for corporate governance reform

Edited by Janet Williamson, Ciaran Driver & Peter Kenway

Sustainable prosperity in the new economy?

WINNER OF THE 2010 SCHUMPETER PRIZE : Sustainable prosperity in the new economy?

Business Organization and High-Tech Employment in the United States (Upjohn Institute Press, 2009).

by William Lazonick

 

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