International Conference on AI in Work, Innovation, Productivity and Skills


James Bessen

Boston University


James Bessen, an economist and technologist, serves as Executive Director of the Technology & Policy Research Initiative at the Boston University. He has also been a successful innovator and CEO of a software company. Bessen is the author of The New Goliaths: How Corporations Use Software to Dominate Industries, Kill Innovation, and Undermine Regulation (Yale 2022) which details effects of the new information economy and what to do about them. Bessen has done research on the impacts of automation, how information technology has contributed to rising industry concentration, whether patents promote innovation, and how technology affects jobs, skills, and wages. With Michael J. Meurer, he wrote Patent Failure (Princeton 2008), highlighting the problems caused by poorly defined property rights. His 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 US White House and Supreme Court, the European Parliament, and the Federal Trade Commission.

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