Shane Greenstein

Harvard Business School

Harvard University


Encompassing a wide array of questions about computing, communication, and internet markets, Professor Greenstein’s research extends from economic measurement and analysis to broader issues. His most recent book focuses on the development of the commercial internet in the United States. Greenstein is also codirector of the program on the economics of digitization at the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Vote History

Statement Vote Confidence Comments
A hard Brexit will have a significant negative impact on many businesses, even if they do not have a U.K. or European presence. Agree 5 “It will have a significant impact on businesses in the U.K. while all the uncertainty gets sorted out. Outside the U.K., some businesses are exposed to related risks, but I would not guess it is nearly as large.”
China is no longer the most attractive growth opportunity for Western multinationals. Agree 7 “It is possible to get access to inexpensive manufacturing facilities at tremendous scale, but selling within China poses many challenges.”
In the next five years, the blockchain will have a transformative effect on finance in emerging markets. Disagree 6 “Blockchain finance has to be cleaned up quite a bit before it will have the transformative effect its enthusiasts forecast. Right now, it enables too much pump and dump, fraud, and money laundering. For these and many other reasons, no government accepts it as a form of payment. These are difficult challenges — might be solved in five years, but I remain a skeptic.”
In the absence of a carbon tax, industry self-regulation can help mitigate the worst fallout from climate change. Strongly Disagree 10 “In the absence of regulation or international agreement, there will be no way to stop ‘bad actors’ from taking shortcuts. Even legitimate actors will face strong pressure to gain short-term cost reduction from not preventing polluting. There are an enormous number of historical and contemporary examples. It should be beyond dispute.”
Amazon’s new $15 per hour minimum wage will force other companies to follow suit. Disagree 5 “Amazon already was feeling pressures from the difficulties of staffing at such a large scale, and from the difficulties limiting turnover in a heated labor market. Other firms that hire in similar markets have to raise wages too, but not just because Amazon did it. Because the labor market puts pressure on all of them. It appears it will be difficult to get temp workers for the holiday season.”
Restrictions on skilled immigration will cause US firms to to shift more operations overseas. Strongly Agree 9 “Restrictions on skilled immigration HAVE ALREADY led firms to move some operations to other countries. More restrictions will lead to more moves.”
Uber has to develop self-driving cars in the next 10 years in order to remain viable. Agree 6 “Uber needs self-driving cars to justify its sky-high valuations. Without [them], the investment community will not allow [Uber] to lose as much money as they are losing now. That will hamstring their growth.”
A trade war will be more disruptive to business than to consumers. Strongly Agree 9 “Trade wars hurt everyone, but intermediate goods markets are a much larger fraction of the economy than final goods. Uncertainty over price and availability hurts business planning and operations.”
Concern over consumer privacy will fundamentally limit businesses’ ability to use big data. Disagree 7 “There are few effective limits on firms selling information to each other.”