James Bessen


Executive Director, Technology & Policy Research Initiative
Director and Founder, Research on Innovation

AB, Harvard College

Areas of Interest
Economics & Law, Intellectual Property

James Bessen, an economist, serves as Executive Director of the Technology & Policy Research Initiative at Boston University School of Law. Mr. Bessen has done research on whether patents promote innovation, why innovators share new knowledge, and how technology affects jobs, skills, and wages. With Michael J. Meurer, Bessen wrote Patent Failure (Princeton University Press, 2008), highlighting the problems caused by poorly defined property rights. His research first documented the large economic damage caused by patent trolls and showed the link between information technology and job growth. His latest book, Learning by Doing: The Real Connection Between Innovation, Wages, and Wealth (Yale University Press, 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 US 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.


Var credits

In this tutorial we study empirical research techniques and participate in ongoing research on measures of industry competition and concentration and factors affecting those measures, including the role of information technology, regulation, and political activity. Familiarity with statistics or econometrics is recommended.

FALL 2017: LAW JD 704 A1 , Sep 5th to Dec 7th 2017
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg
ARR TBD TBD Var James Bessen
SPRG 2018: LAW JD 704 A1 , Jan 16th to Apr 25th 2018
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg
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