Professor Lanza contributed expert commentary to the recent WalletHub.com study entitled “2023’s Most and Least Independent States.” WalletHub.com is a leading outlet covering the personal finance industry and its studies appear in their consumer education section.
A review of Professor Langlois’s recent book, The Corporation and the Twentieth Century: The History of American Business Enterprise was featured in the July 1st edition of The Wall Street Journal. Reviewer Dan Akst describes Professor Langlois’s book as “…a remarkable achievement, not least for its detailed case studies of firms and whole industries that instantiate the author’s points.”
Professor Langlois’s book The Corporation and the Twentieth Century, a “definitive reframing of the economic, institutional, and intellectual history of the managerial era,” has been published and is available through Princeton University Press:
The twentieth century was the managerial century in the United States. An organizational transformation, from entrepreneurial to managerial capitalism, brought forth what became a dominant narrative: that administrative coordination by trained professional managers is essential to the efficient running of organizations both public and private. And yet if managerialism was the apotheosis of administrative efficiency, why did both its practice and the accompanying narrative lie in ruins by the end of the century? In The Corporation and the Twentieth Century, Richard Langlois offers an alternative version: a comprehensive and nuanced reframing and reassessment of the the economic, institutional, and intellectual history of the managerial era.
Langlois argues that managerialism rose to prominence not because of its inherent superiority but because of its contingent value in a young and rapidly developing American economy. The structures of managerialism solidified their dominance only because the century’s great catastrophes of war, depression, and war again superseded markets, scrambled relative prices, and weakened market-supporting institutions. By the end of the twentieth century, Langlois writes, these market-supporting institutions had reemerged to shift advantage toward entrepreneurial and market-driven modes of organization.
This magisterial new account of the rise and fall of managerialism holds significant implications for contemporary debates about industrial and antitrust policies and the role of the corporation in the twenty-first century.
“Sharp analysis. . . . Chock -full of sophisticated economic theory rendered in lucid prose, this adds up to a bracing evaluation of a consequential and once dominant commercial entity.”—Publishers Weekly
“A new and even better Alf Chandler has arisen, a Chandler who does not believe that the visible hand is always and everywhere the way to wealth. Langlois does the scientific job brilliantly, and does wisely, too, the political job of seeing the lessons for our collective lives.”—Deirdre Nansen McCloskey, University of Illinois at Chicago
“Richard Langlois’sThe Corporation and the Twentieth Centuryis a major achievement and stands as the best and most important work on the history of the modern American business corporation.” —Tyler Cowen, George Mason University
“Langlois provides an erudite and wide-ranging reinterpretation of the rise and subsequent decline of large managerial corporations in American business history. His emphasis on the political economy context and contingency is important.”—Geoffrey Jones, Harvard Business School
“Langlois offers a profound, accessible, and essential revision of the economic, institutional, and intellectual history of the managerial era. His book is a magisterial, lively, provocative, and timely read.” —Amar Bhide, author ofThe Venturesome Economy
“In the last half century American high-tech firms and overseas new entrants have eclipsed classic twentieth-century Chandlerian corporations like General Motors and Du Pont. Richard Langlois’s masterpiece—long trailed in thoughtful articles and here distilled and rectified into fine whiskey—pulls no punches where they are necessary for his clinical deconstruction of the Chandlerian paradigm, but is properly respectful of its strengths, carefully weighing the merits of all sides of the argument.”—Leslie Hannah, London School of Economics
“This is a magnificent book. Drawing upon Coase, Williamson, Demsetz, Schumpeter, Hofstadter, and others, Langlois provides an analytical narrative of the development and adaptability of business organizations, their challenges, and responses from the late nineteenth through the early twenty-first centuries. To present this important and complex story of institutional innovation, Langlois combines economic, business, political, and legal history. Langlois’s important analysis of the past 100 years provides optimism for continuation of business enterprise adjustments to promote economic growth and the quality of life.”—Gary D. Libecap, University of California, Santa Barbara, and National Bureau of Economic Research
“Richard Langlois challenges Alfred Chander’s claim that new technologies led large firms inevitably to substitute for markets: the visible hand. Langlois argues that as markets developed more sophistication in the twentieth century, the internal structure of firms changed: the vanishing hand. A combination of markets, firms, and governments explains the rise, decline, and transformation of the corporation in the twentieth-century United States. The book is a rich economic history of the twentieth century from the corporate perspective.”—John Joseph Wallis, University of Maryland and University of Cambridge
“Richard Langlois has written a history of the corporation with three main threads. First, he offers a critique of the Chandler tradition arguing that the Chandler model becomes less applicable after 1972 or so. Second, he offers a critique of U.S. antitrust policy that highlights its liabilities. Third, he offers his own view of the evolution of the corporation, which is a major contribution to understanding the evolution of the corporation in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.”—Louis P. Cain, Northwestern University and Loyola University Chicago
On a picture perfect Spring evening, several doctoral students participated in the University’s Commencement exercises. Major advisors hooded their students while friends and family members watched either in person from the Jorgenson or online from thousands of miles away at very inconvenient times given different time zones.
The joyous occasion was at times quite somber given the recent passing of Professor Jorge Agüero. As Professor Agüero’s student, Miranda Mendiola Valdez, crossed the stage, special recognition was given to honor the moment. The entire Jorgensen clapped as Professor Delia Furtado hooded Miranda. Miranda will begin a tenure track position at North Central College in the fall.
Professor Kathleen Segerson was inducted into the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) on Friday, April 28, as part of the 160th annual meeting of the NAS.
Professor Segerson signed the “Book of Registry” at the Presentation Ceremony, an annual tradition to officially induct members into the Academy.
“Members are elected to the National Academy of Sciences in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. Membership is a widely accepted mark of excellence in science and is considered one of the highest honors that a scientist can receive. Current NAS membership totals approximately 2,400 members and 500 international members, of which approximately 190 have received Nobel prizes.”
“The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) is a private, non-profit society of distinguished scholars. Established by an Act of Congress, signed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863, the NAS is charged with providing independent, objective advice to the nation on matters related to science and technology. Scientists are elected by their peers to membership in the NAS for outstanding contributions to research. The NAS is committed to furthering science in America, and its members are active contributors to the international scientific community. Approximately 500 current and deceased members of the NAS have won Nobel Prizes, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, founded in 1914, is today one of the premier international journals publishing the results of original research.”
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our colleague, Jorge Agüero. We mourn his loss, and extend our deepest sympathy to his family. Condolences may be shared online, and his obituary may be found here and below.
Jorge M. Agüero, 51, of Mansfield Center, CT passed away on May 7, 2023 due to complications from pancreatic cancer.
Jorge was Associate Professor of Economics and El Instituto at the University of Connecticut, where he has worked since 2013. He was also affiliated with the Institute for Collaboration on Health, Intervention, and Policy (InCHIP) at the university as well as the Group of Development Analysis (GRADE) in Peru. Known in his fields for his keen eye towards recognizing quality research, he served as an editor of the Review of Economics of the Household and the South African Journal of Economics. He was a regular participant in National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) meetings.
A true scholar with a curious mind, Jorge was excited to talk about ideas with anyone answering interesting questions with data, but his passion was for research that would improve the lives of the disadvantaged in developing countries. He made incredible contributions in the areas of health, education, discrimination, and gender, focusing on timely topics with policy implications. During the pandemic, when so many turned to sourdough starters and Netflix, Jorge worried about how declines in economic activity would affect intimate partner violence in Peru and immediately went to work on this. He was widely published in top-tier economic journals such as the Journal of Human Resources, the Journal of Development Economics, and the AEA Papers and Proceedings. He received grants for his research from the United Nations Population Fund, the World Bank, and the Inter-American Development Bank in addition to numerous internal grants from the University of Connecticut. He thoroughly enjoyed presenting his work at conferences and seminars around the world, delivering keynote addresses at the 8th International Congress of Education in Colombia, the XI Meeting of Peruvian Students of Economics in Lima, and the VI Meeting of Mexican Students of Economics in Ciudad Juarez.
Jorge was renowned for his wise and caring mentorship of students and colleagues. Born in Lima, Peru, to a family of modest means, he was particularly passionate about mentoring individuals traditionally underrepresented in the field of economics, such as women and minorities. Most of his papers were coauthored with doctoral students and early-career scholars. He had a knack for taking a student’s rough idea, seeing its potential, and then working with the student to make it a solid piece of research. Jorge always asked tough questions in the spirit of trying to understand and make the work better, but was also the first to congratulate colleagues and students on successes big and small.
At the undergraduate level, Jorge taught a variety of courses in development economics and global health. He pushed all of his students to think deeply and critically; this devotion to quality teaching was recognized formally by the University of Connecticut and informally by the number of students calling him the “best professor I have ever had” on social media.
A selection of quotes from students and colleagues demonstrates Jorge’s passion and attention:
Jorge taught me how to love my work. He told me in my second year of Ph.D. — “you should always work on something that makes you get up in the morning and excited to start the day”. I have always had that in my mind as I have progressed through my career. -Pallavi Panda
He taught me panel data econometrics with uncommon humour. -Chijioke Nwosu
He brought wisdom and of fun in equal measure to his collaborations with colleagues at the UKZN School of Development Studies in the early 2000s. -Glen Robbins
Jorge, you have been a great and encouraging senior colleague, down to earth, insightful, and generous. Thank you for making the world, the profession, and the NBER rooms in Boston and beyond better: because of you, they were warmer, brighter, and smarter places. -Alex Eble
In addition to his academic work, Jorge was a passionate soccer fan, traveler, and food lover. He loved the Barcelona Football Club and his antipathy for Real Madrid will persist for all eternity. Jorge had special connections to his home country of Peru; to Spain, where he received his Master’s degree and returned this fall as a Visiting Professor; and to South Africa, where he conducted his dissertation research. His years were normally full of back-to-back travel. He seemed to always be eagerly looking forward to more journeys both personal and professional. He was a considerate and loving husband, a proud father, an esteemed colleague and a beloved friend. He brought laughter and a quick wit to any situation. He will be greatly missed.
Jorge is survived by his wife Michele Back, son Gabriel, and parents Jorge Jesús Marcelo and Gloria León. Jorge was predeceased by his brother, Rafael Antonio.
A celebration of his life will take place in the early fall at a date to be determined by the family.