Learning By Doing: The Real Connection Between Innovation, Wages and Wealth

12:45 pm on Monday, April 6, 2015
2:00 pm on Monday, April 6, 2015
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Law Events
Mr. Bessen will discuss his book, recently published by Yale University Press, which examines the impact of technological advancements on economic inequality. Basing his analysis on research into economic history and today’s labor markets, he explores why the benefits of technology take years, sometimes decades, to emerge. While the right policies can hasten this process, he argues that policy in recent decades has tended to protect politically influential interests to the detriment of emerging technologies and broadly shared prosperity. Commentators to include: Lawrence Lessig, Roy L. Furman Professor of Law, Harvard Law School Michael Meurer, Professor of Law, Boston University School of Law Matthew Marx, Associate Professor of Technological Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Strategic Management, MIT Sloan School of Management About Jim Bessen: James Bessen studies the economics of innovation and patents. He has also been a successful innovator and CEO of a software company. Currently, Mr. Bessen is Lecturer in Law at the Boston University School of Law. Bessen has done research on whether patents promote innovation, why innovators share new knowledge, and how technology affected worker skills historically. His research first documented the large economic damage caused by patent trolls. His work on software patents with Eric Maskin (Nobel Laureate in Economics) and Robert Hunt has influenced policymakers in the US, Europe, and Australia. With Michael J. Meurer, Bessen wrote Patent Failure (Princeton 2008), highlighting the problems caused by poorly defined property rights. A forthcoming book, Learning by Doing: The Real Connection Between Innovation, Wages, and Wealth (Yale 2015), looks at history to understand how new technologies affect wages and skills today. Bessen’s work has been widely cited in the press as well as by the White House, the U.S. Supreme Court, judges at the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and the Federal Trade Commission. In 1983, Bessen developed the first commercially successful “what-you-see-is-what-you-get” PC publishing program, founding a company that delivered PC-based publishing systems to high-end commercial publishers. Intergraph Corporation acquired the company in 1993.