How Stock Buybacks Make Americans Vulnerable to Globalization

15 Pages Posted: 11 Mar 2016

See all articles by William Lazonick

William Lazonick

University of Massachusetts Lowell; The Academic-Industry Research Network; Instiitute for New Economic Thinking

Date Written: March 1, 2016


Drawing on a large and growing body of research, I summarize how rationalization, marketization, and globalization have eroded middle-class employment opportunities since the 1980s. Then I document the extent to which over the same time-period financial interests, including senior corporate executives, have extracted cash from companies in the name of maximizing shareholder value. Finally I indicate why this value-extracting activity has rendered ineffective traditional macroeconomic and international trade policy. I call for a policy focus on the governance of business enterprise to support stable and equitable growth.

Suggested Citation

Lazonick, William, How Stock Buybacks Make Americans Vulnerable to Globalization (March 1, 2016). Working Paper, East-West Center Workshop on Mega-Regionalism - New Challenges for Trade and Innovation, 2016 , Available at SSRN: or

William Lazonick (Contact Author)

University of Massachusetts Lowell ( email )

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The Academic-Industry Research Network ( email )

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Instiitute for New Economic Thinking ( email )

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