Upjohn Institute Press

Pages: 357
Year Published: 
$45.00 cloth
ISBN: 978-0-88099-351-7
$25.00 paper
ISBN: 978-0-88099-350-0

Sustainable Prosperity in the New Economy? Business Organization and High-Tech Employment in the United States

William Lazonick


Over the past three decades, the information and communication technology (ICT) industries have propelled the growth of the U.S. economy. In the process there has been a dramatic transformation in the dominant mode of business organization that characterizes ICT, as the "New Economy business model" (NEBM) has replaced the "Old Economy business model" (OEBM). And although NEBM has been central to the microelectronics revolution, it has also been a source of employment instability and inequity in the distribution of income.

Lazonick explores the origins of the new era of employment insecurity and income inequality, and considers what governments, businesses, and individuals can do about it. He also asks whether the United States can refashion its high-tech business model to generate stable and equitable economic growth.

In addressing this key question, Lazonick provides

  • A historical analysis of the rise of NEBM, from its beginnings in Silicon Valley in the 1960s to the Internet boom of the late 1990s
  • Analysis of how important Old Economy firms restructured in attempts to transition from OEBM to NEBM
  • Analysis of the relationship between employment security and retirement security under both OEBM and NEBM
  • Analysis of the globalization of the ICT labor force
  • An explanation of how executives at ICT companies allocated resources in a way that undermined workers in the U.S. high-tech labor force, and
  • A discussion of the implication for sustainable prosperity of the rise and dominance of NEBM.

Overall, this is a book that anyone interested in the U.S. high-tech labor force, the globalization of the ICT industry, and, particularly, the means by which an advanced economy can achieve sustainable prosperity will find indispensable.

"[This is] a bold and wholly engaged attempt to make sense of decades of structural change in the American economy. It is a work that merits close attention from theorists, analysts, policymakers, and historians alike." –Business History Review

"Sustainable Prosperity is a significant achievement, a synthesis of over two decades of research and collaboration in the United States, Asia, and Europe. This timely book should be read by a range of professionals including historians of business and technology, economists, and, one hopes, financial regulators and decision makers in Washington, New York, and Silicon Valley." –Enterprise and Society

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