Joe Kennedy

Joe Kennedy
Senior Fellow
Information Technology and Innovation Foundation

Joe Kennedy is a senior fellow at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation. He focuses on economic policy.

For almost three decades, he has provided legal and economic advice to senior officials in the public and private sector. Much of this advice has been directed at public policies involving technology, competitiveness, and the social contract. He also consults privately on these issues.

Dr. Kennedy previously served as the chief economist for the U.S. Department of Commerce where he oversaw a staff of 15 economists and regularly briefed the secretary of commerce on economic issues including the financial crisis and immigration reform. He has held numerous other positions in government, serving on committees in both houses of Congress and in the executive branch. As senior counsel for the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, he helped oversee investigations of the credit counseling industry, music downloading, and the United Nations Oil for Food Program. As senior economist for the Joint Economic Committee, he authored papers on telecommunications policy and nanotechnology.

While at the Pew Charitable Trusts, he started and oversaw the Financial Reform Project, which was widely credited with bringing timely, objective information to Congress and the administration. As part of the project he helped put together and support a task force of leading financial experts co-chaired by Martin Bailey of the Brookings Institution and Peter Wallison of the American Enterprise Institute. This task force produced the only bipartisan comprehensive blueprint for reform introduced during the debates.

Dr. Kennedy spent 10 years at the Manufacturers Alliance working with senior executives from the nation’s leading manufacturing companies. He recruited and ran peer learning councils on strategic planning, technology, and supply chain logistics at which vice presidents and directors shared information about how to respond to the challenges of a dynamic, global economy. He also wrote a number of articles on subjects including government entitlements, tort reform, global warming, encryption, regulatory policy, and the future of manufacturing. He has also practiced corporate and environmental law for a large Washington, DC, firm.

Dr. Kennedy has served as the president of the board for the Arlington-Alexandria Coalition for the Homeless. He teaches a course in law, economics, and international policy at Georgetown University. He has received the Quality of Communication Award from the American Agricultural Economics Association and is the author of Ending Poverty: Changing Behavior, Guaranteeing Income, and Transforming Government (Rowman & Littlefield, 2008).

Dr. Kennedy has a law degree and a master’s degree in agricultural and applied economics from the University of Minnesota and a Ph.D. in economics from George Washington University.

Recent Publications

July 26, 2018

The Internet economy requires new rules in some cases. But these rules need to be carefully considered. Where changes are needed, policymakers need to ensure that they do not impair the tremendous innovation and value that the Internet has enabled writes Joe Kennedy in Innovation Files.

June 25, 2018

Evidence shows a carbon tax will induce innovation that will lower the cost of reducing CO2 emissions. If the revenues are recycled to expand tax incentives for research and capital investment, a modest carbon tax would likely lead to faster GDP growth.

June 25, 2018

In an op-ed for The Hill, Joe Kennedy explains why the United States and other nations should use carbon taxes to slow greenhouse emissions.

May 7, 2018

Any effective U.S. life-sciences innovation policy needs to level the global playing field by taking more forceful action to address unfair trade practices, Joe Kennedy writes for Stat News.

March 26, 2018

America’s lead in life sciences is being challenged. Other countries are aggressively seeking to attract and grow companies with innovation-based tax incentives, a range of firm-specific enticements, increased government research funding, improved IP protections, and streamlined regulatory approval processes. The federal government should act to ensure U.S. life sciences remain competitive.

February 12, 2018

Life-sciences companies grow best in locations that can combine qualities like a good business environment, skilled workers, strong research universities, and available capital. Strengthening these and related factors can give states a stronger competitive advantage.

December 1, 2017

House and Senate tax bills currently favor individually owned “pass-through” companies, which make their owners a good living but don’t do much for net new job creation or overall growth. Lawmakers should focus more on tech-based startups that drive innovation and have much more long-term growth potential.

November 13, 2017

What could Republicans do to increase the chances of passing a good bill? They could focus principally on reforming the corporate tax code.

November 10, 2017

Everyone agrees the current tax system needs reform—it’s too complex, contains too many distortions, and harms the nation’s competitiveness. Unfortunately, the effort now underway in Congress is not going very well. This is largely because the current drafts in the House and Senate are built on faulty assumptions about how taxes affect economic growth.

November 9, 2017

Republicans are neglecting those aspects of tax reform that are most closely linked to the investment and innovation that promotes growth – including the research and development tax credit.

October 26, 2017

The European Commission’s unilateral push to force EU member countries to collect steep taxes from U.S. companies will jeopardize efforts to negotiate better fixes for the international tax system.

October 9, 2017

Both the statutory and average effective tax rates for U.S. corporations are very high by global standards. But as Joe Kennedy writes in Morning Consult, for tax reform to be fully effective, it must do more than just lower the statutory corporate rate; it should lower the effective rate while moving to a territorial tax system.

Recent Events and Presentations

October 4, 2018

Please join ITIF for the release of a new report and an expert panel discussion on why America should stick with the consumer welfare standard and not return to the days when antitrust policy viewed big as inherently bad.

September 18, 2018

Economic theory suggests a tax on carbon emissions is the most efficient way to reduce them. But another important effect of such a tax would be to induce innovation in clean energy technology.

May 9, 2018

Please join ITIF for an event discussing needed policies to ensure sustained U.S. life-sciences leadership.

June 21, 2016

Please join ITIF to discuss a new report arguing that the common law-based distinction between employees and independent contractor no longer serves workers or companies well and should be updated.

February 26, 2015

Join ITIF and UMR to discuss a new report, "Healthy Funding: Ensuring a Growing and Predictable Budget for NIH."