Kenneth L. Simons

Associate Professor

Prof. Kenneth L. Simons is an expert in the dynamics of industrial organization and technological change. His work has probed the causes of industry shakeouts, testing between alternative theories and exploring issues including sources of advantage to surviving firms and the role of technological innovation. He also explores related empirical topics, including the frequency of disruptive technological change, the ability of new information technologies to provide advantage to upstart companies, estimation methods for the need for environmentally beneficial technologies, and the mechanisms by which corporate governance changes affect firm productivity. His ongoing project on disruptive technological change, funded by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and the National Science Foundation, is apparently the largest-scale data collection project on disruptive technological change ever attempted, spanning about 100 industries over more than 100 years. He was previously the British equivalent of Associate Professor of Economics (tenured) at the University of London's Royal Holloway College. He has served as Associate Editor of the International Journal of Industrial Organization, editorial board member of the Journal of Technology Marketing, and Chairman of the Network of Industrial Economists. He has organized numerous conferences related to industrial organization and technological change. His work is primarily empirical but also includes theoretical industrial organization, as well as simulation and computational methods. He has taught graduate-level courses in Advanced Microeconomics, Industrial Organization, Advanced Quantitative Analysis, and Advanced Econometrics. He taught even while an undergraduate at MIT, where he developed and formally taught small-group courses in chemistry and differential equations to MIT undergraduates, and was a teaching assistant for MBA, PhD, and executive courses in system dynamics. He received MIT’s most prestigious award to undergraduates, the Karl Taylor Compton Prize, for his contribution to education at MIT. He currently teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in industry economics, quantitative techniques for economics, and econometrics.


Ph.D. Carnegie Mellon

Research Focus
  • Industrial organizatino and industry dynamics
Select Works
  • <p>Kenneth L. Simons and Thomas Astebro, "Entrepreneurs Seeking Gains: Profit Motives and Risk Aversion in Inventors' Commercialization Decisions," <i>Journal of Economics and Management Strategy</i>, vol. 19 no. 4, Winter 2010, pp. 863-888. <p>Donald S. Siegel and Kenneth L. Simons, "Assessing the Effects of Mergers and Acquisitions on Firm Performance, Plant Productivity, and Workers: New Evidence from Matched Employer-Employee Data," <i>Strategic Management Journal</i>, vol. 31 no. 8, August 2010, pp. 903-916. <p>Kenneth L. Simons and Judith Walls, "The U.S. National Innovation System," in V.K. Narayanan and Gina Colarelli O'Connor, <i>Encyclopedia of Technology and Innovation</i>, Wiley, 2010, pp. 445-467. <p>Donald S. Siegel, Kenneth L. Simons, and Tomas Lindstrom, "Ownership Change, Productivity, and Human Capital: New Evidence from Matched Employer-Employee Data in Swedish Manufacturing," in <i>Producer Dynamics: New Evidence from Micro Data</i>, University of Chicago Press for the National Bureau of Economic Research, 2009, pp. 397-442. <p>Kenneth L. Simons and Susan Walsh Sanderson, "SSL Technology Development and Commercialization in the Global Context," in Ian Ferguson, Christoph Hoelen, Jianzhong Jiao, and Tsunemasa Taguchi, eds., <i>Proceedings of SPIE: Ninth International Conference on Solid State Lighting</i>, SPIE, 2009, pp. 74220X-1-15. <p>Susan Sanderson, Kenneth L. Simons, Judith Walls, and Yin-Yi Lai, "Lighting Industry," in <i>Innovation in Global Industries - U.S. Firms Competing in a New World</i>, National Academies Press, 2008, pp. 163-205. <p>Jody Overland, Kenneth L. Simons, and Michael Spagat, "Political Instability and Growth in Dictatorships," <i>Public Choice</i>, vol. 125 no. 3-4, December 2005, pp. 445-470. <p>Steven Klepper and Kenneth L. Simons, "Industry Shakeouts and Technological Change," <i>International Journal of Industrial Organization</i>, vol. 23 no. 1-2, February 2005, pp. 23-43. <p>Andrew Seltzer and Kenneth L. Simons, "Salaries and Career Opportunities in the Banking Industry: Evidence from the Personnel Records of the Union Bank of Australia," <i>Explorations in Economic History</i>, vol. 38 no. 2, April 2001, pp. 195-224. <p>Steven Klepper and Kenneth L. Simons, "Dominance by Birthright: Entry of Prior Producers and Competitive Ramifications in the U.S. Television Receiver Industry," <i>Strategic Management Journal</i>, vol. 21 no. 10-11, October-November 2000, pp. 997-1016. <p>Steven Klepper and Kenneth L. Simons, "The Making of an Oligopoly: Firm Survival and Technological Change in the Evolution of the U.S. Tire Industry," <i>Journal of Political Economy</i>, vol. 108 no. 4, August 2000, pp. 728-760. <p>Steven Klepper and Kenneth L. Simons, "Technological Extinctions of Industrial Firms: An Inquiry into their Nature and Causes," <i>Industrial and Corporate Change</i>, vol. 6 no. 2, March 1997, pp. 379-460. <p>For additional works, see Dr. Simons' website.