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 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.

June 29, 2020

Not really. Despite the measured rise in concentration in some industries, in the vast majority of markets it remains well below the levels that would normally trigger antitrust concerns.

June 4, 2020

Just because DSTs may be attractive to individual countries doesn’t make them good policy. In fact, they are bad policy. A central goal of good tax policy should be to treat similar transactions the same way. DSTs violate this principle in a number of ways.

June 1, 2020

No, markups have increased only slightly in some industries—and have stayed the same overall—which refutes claims that market concentration is giving firms more pricing power.

May 22, 2020

It is important to remember that companies are allowed, and even encouraged, to compete hard in the marketplace by offering customers better and cheaper products and services. The inevitable consequence of this is that firms with less competitive products lose market share.

May 18, 2020

In short: no. Profits are difficult to measure accurately, but the best method is to focus on domestic earnings outside the financial sector as a share of net value added. By that measure, the long-term trend has been in decline.

May 5, 2020

The study should build support for efforts like the bipartisan FORWARD Act recently introduced by Sens. Chris Coons (D-DE) and Pat Roberts (R-KS).

February 19, 2020

A natural experiment in the United Kingdom found that giving a generous R&D tax credit to small and medium-sized enterprises has a significant effect on both research spending and patents, and these advantages have spilled over to technologically related firms.

February 17, 2020

Congress should double the Alternative Simplified Credit, and lawmakers should pay for the increased research incentive by eliminating the tax break on qualified dividends, which mostly goes to wealthy stockholders.

February 4, 2020

It no longer takes two people to operate a train in many circumstances—and mandating it would have broad ramifications for the industry, consumers, roads, and the environment.

November 6, 2019

As Joe Kennedy writes for The Hill Times, Canada's new government should abandon its recent support for a digital services tax in order to move forward with the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

October 28, 2019

Growing animus toward “Big Tech” companies and generalized opposition to technological innovation engenders support for policies that are expressly designed to inhibit it. That is deeply problematic for future progress, prosperity, and competitiveness.

Recent Events and Presentations

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."