Richard N. Langlois was born and raised in eastern Connecticut. Before coming to UConn in 1983, he was affiliated with the Center for Science and Technology Policy and the C. V. Starr Center for Applied Economics at New York University. Professor Langlois’s principal research areas are the economics of organization, the economics of institutions, and business history.
He is the author (with Paul L. Robertson) of Firms, Markets, and Economic Change: A Dynamic Theory of Business Institutions (London: Routledge, 1995), which articulates (among other things) the theory of dynamic transaction costs and the theory of modular technological systems. Another focus of Professor Langlois’s work has been the economic history of technology. He has written on such industries as computers, semiconductors, semiconductor manufacturing equipment, and software. His history of the microcomputer industry won the Newcomen Award as the best article in Business History Review in 1992.
Recently, Professor Langlois has turned his attention to explaining the changes in corporate organization in the late twentieth century, a set of phenomena he refers to as the Vanishing Hand. His latest book, The Dynamics of Industrial Capitalism: Schumpeter, Chandler, and the New Economy (Routledge, 2007), received the 2006 Schumpeter Prize of the International Joseph A. Schumpeter Society. He is currently at work on a major book project called The Corporation and the Twentieth Century.