James Bessen, an economist, is the Executive Director of the Technology & Policy Research Initiative at the Boston University School of Law. He 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. His research first documented the large economic damage caused by patent trolls.
Jim 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. And he writes and lectures widely on the topics of technology, automation, and work. In 1983, he 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.
Jim is the author of Learning by Doing, in which he explores the relationship between technology, skills, and economic inequality. Published by Yale University Press, it was praised as “a fresh reading of history” by Tamar Jacoby, writing in the Wall Street Journal. His previous book, Patent Failure: How Judges, Bureaucrats, and Lawyers Put Innovators at Risk, written with Michael J. Meurer, was published by Princeton University Press.