avatar for Robert Cohen

Robert Cohen

Economic Strategy Institute
Sr Fellow
New York
Robert Cohen is an economist and senior fellow at the Economic Strategy Institute, where he directs a study of the impact of cloud computing, machine learning and artificial intelligence on the U.S. economy. His current research is on the impact of moving to an "intelligent" software economy. This work focuses on the economic impact of firms deploying cloud services, the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence and machine learning. I argue that this combination of the "intelligent" software services is a General-Purpose Technology, likely to be as pervasive and effective in reshaping the economy as electricity and the internal combustion engine.

Dr. Cohen employs input/output analysis to forecast US investment and productivity changes and employment impacts. The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, Brocade Communications and the OECD are sponsoring his recent studies. Dr. Cohen’s studies of the impact of grid computing on North Carolina and the US used a similar approach, with support from the NC Rural Internet Access Authority, IBM, AT&T, Intel, Juniper Networks, MCI, Corning, Applied Materials, and Cadence. With support from Japan's AIST, IBM, Cisco, NTT Data, and Intel, Dr. Cohen repeated this analysis for Japan. He has consulted for; the United Nations’ UNIDO, UNCTAD, and Center on Transnational Corporations; the U.S. Departments of Commerce, Labor and Housing and Urban Development; the Senate Banking Committee; and the National Security Agency.

Dr. Cohen has been Associate Professor of International Business and Finance at New York University Business School, Associate Professor of Finance and Economics at York College of the City University of New York, and Senior International Economist at the Futures Group. He was on the Open Grid Forum’s steering committee and COMNET’s and UNIFORUM’s planning committee. He developed the first technology strategy for New York State when he worked at the NY Urban Development Corporation (now the Empire State Development Corporation) and chaired the state’s High Technology Council.

He is a past president and long-time member of the Forecasters Club of New York. He holds an MA and Ph.D. in economics from the New School for Social Research and a BA from Swarthmore College. He is an author, co-author or editor of five books.