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

November 22, 2020

Lax antitrust enforcement has supposedly led to diverse harms such as the stagnation in wages, fewer startups, increased political influence, and reduced innovation. Two of the most important claims are that profits and markups are rising in many industries. But on closer inspection, both claims appear weaker than asserted.

November 9, 2020

Critics accuse big tech companies of stifling innovation by buying start-ups just to kill them or by exerting such dominance that entrepreneurs don’t want to enter their markets. Neither claim holds up to logic or evidence.

November 7, 2020

The president-elect’s overall approach to technology and innovation policy appears to be formulated to engage the government as an active partner alongside industry in spurring innovation—but also as a tougher regulator of many tech industries and technologies.

October 13, 2020

Pundits and activists have looked at the reduced share of U.S. national income going to workers and have simply asserted that the cause is increased market concentration. This assessment is misplaced.

October 7, 2020

The majority should seize this opportunity to take a deliberative, bipartisan approach to advancing the public interest instead of adopting drastic, ill-advised measures that would harm consumers and deter innovation.

October 7, 2020

Rather than carefully applying antitrust law to address clear problems, Chairman Cicilline and his Democratic colleagues would seek to restructure markets to achieve significantly more competition. Such a broad attack would harm consumer welfare and inhibit innovation.

September 28, 2020

Tech policy broadly defined becomes more important each presidential election, and this one is no different. As it has in every cycle since 2008, ITIF provides a side-by-side comparison of the nominees’ positions on key issues related to the progress of technological innovation.

August 11, 2020

Much of our system for delivering legal rights, disability protection, pensions, and health insurance is built on the traditional employer/employee model in which workers give up control over how and when they work and employers provide both pay and benefits. This model ties workers to their employers and leaves little space for those who do not want to fit into the traditional mold. We need a better system.

July 29, 2020

From investigations launched by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), to senators calling for their dismantling, Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google long have been

July 23, 2020

The rapid growth of large Internet platforms has caused some activists, scholars, and political officials to worry about their impact on competition. These concerns are largely misplaced.

July 6, 2020

According to press reports, both the U.S Attorney General and most state attorneys general will file one or more antitrust cases against Google sometime this summer. If true, the United States would be going down a path already well-trod by the European Commission, which has conducted three antitrust cases against the company.

Recent Events and Presentations

August 13, 2020

On August 13, 2020 Joe Kennedy participated on a panel organized by TPRC 48 regarding efforts to apply stronger antitrust policy to the largest Internet platforms such as Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google.

June 11, 2019

ITIF hosted an expert panel discussion on the implications of Digital Service Taxes for the digital economy and international tax law.

February 12, 2019

From Silicon Valley to Detroit, a well-publicized race is on to develop self-driving passenger cars. But properly supervising rapidly developing technology also presents regulators with significant challenges to effectively ensure both safety and robust innovation; especially given the fact that each freight industry answers to a different authority, lawmakers and regulators should carefully consider the knock-on effects of any rules they draft.

October 4, 2018

For the last 40 years, antitrust policy has been guided by what is known as the consumer welfare standard, but some activists have advocated for going back to a time when government actively pushed back against the formation of large firms.

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."