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 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.

October 15, 2019

Antitrust law is an important tool for protecting competition and preventing abuses of market power. But the mere possession of data seldom confers lasting market power. And privacy issues, while very important, should not be an antitrust issue.

September 25, 2019

As Joe Kennedy writes for The Hill, reducing drug revenues today will lead to a decline in future research and decrease the number of new drug discoveries moving forward.

September 19, 2019

Climate change, pollution, and the economy’s sensitivity to energy prices all make continued environmental innovation a key priority.

September 13, 2019

The OECD calculates the generosity of each country’s R&D tax credit annually. In 2000, the United States ranked 10th among OECD members. In the 2018 rankings, the United States has dropped to 26th among OECD members and 32nd among all countries included in the report.

September 9, 2019

Academic studies consistently show that a reduction in current drug revenues leads to a fall in future research and the number of new drug discoveries.

August 16, 2019

In an op-ed for The Hill, Joe Kennedy explains why arguments used to justify Digital Services Taxes are dubious at best.

July 24, 2019

The net result of this legislation would be to increase support for research by start-ups without breaking the link between the credit and actual taxes paid. This should significantly bolster the U.S. innovation ecosystem.

July 23, 2019

Taiwanese taxi firms are pushing for regulation that would force ride-sharing platforms out of the market. As Joe Kennedy writes in the Taipei Times, policymakers should allow them to compete.

July 22, 2019

If the history of automation teaches us anything, it is that while automation can temporarily displace some workers it also raises living standards for society by reducing costs, improving quality, and allowing people to concentrate on higher-value work.

July 18, 2019

As Joe Kennedy writes for the Providence Journal, there are four core principles policymakers should keep in mind when directing antitrust scrutiny toward Internet companies.

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."