Dr. Stan Liebowitz
Professor of Managerial Economics
Ashbel Smith Professor
Liebowitz, an economist who has studied copyright issues since 1979, is one of the world’s authorities on the economic impact of piracy, downloads and file sharing in the digital domain. His expertise reached the highest court in the land in 2005 when U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer cited Leibowitz's paper on file-sharing entitled, "Will MP3 Downloads Annihilate the Record Industry? The Evidence So Far," as part of a concurring opinion.
"When you're writing about a subject that has a policy implication, you want to see policy actually being affected by what you're writing," Liebowitz said. "It certainly makes you feel good to see that your work is having an impact."
Liebowitz, who has been at UT Dallas since 1991, serves as the head of the UT Dallas Center for the Analysis of Property Rights and Innovation. Established in 2004, the center was one of the first think tanks in the United States to study intellectual property rights and related issues in the digital arena. He has studied and testified about the federal monopoly case against Microsoft, including a co-authored and widely-acclaimed book entitled, Winners, Losers & Microsoft: Competition and Antitrust in High Technology.
He has conducted research about the causes of the subprime mortgage crisis. His current research interests include file-sharing, the strength of the copyright monopoly and the role of bundling, a business strategy used to sell several items as part of a combined product.
He has published more than 60 articles and five books. He is the former president of the Society for Research on Copyright Issues. He has served on 13 editorial and advisory boards and is an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute and at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. He is a fellow of the Independent Institute.
Liebowitz earned his bachelor's degree in economics from John Hopkins University, and both his master's and doctoral degrees in economics from the University of California, Los Angeles.
The University of Texas System supports the professorship.
Liebowitz is best known for his examination of economic theories relating to path dependence, network effects and lock-in, concepts that are related to whether technology markets are choosing the best products and standards. His research debunked some long-held theories that had argued that the best technological products would not prevail in the marketplace. Instead, his findings showed that economic forces are more likely to deliver the better product to consumers.
"The point of doing research is to have somebody read it, and have somebody act on it, otherwise you might as well have not written it. It's nice to know that researchers and policy makers are being influenced by your work."