David Autor

Ford Professor of Economics and Associate Head of the MIT Department of Economics

The consequences of technological changes and globalisation

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MIT economist David Autor is one of the leading labor economists in the world. He is an internationally recognised authority on how technological change, globalisation, and trade agreements affect labor markets. Autor also researches the causes of inequality and its remedies, including the affects of education and disabilities. David Autor is Ford Professor of Economics and associate department head of MIT’s Department of Economics.

Technology. David is best known for his work on how computerisation both replaces and complements human labor. He warns against the tendency to exaggerate how much machines will replace humans and proposes ways to deal creatively with the disruptions they cause. He has focused on how automating some of a worker’s tasks can actually improve their economic value because the human half of the partnership now needs greater skills. To meet this challenge we need strong and creative institutions, and especially, education that gives workers the decision-making capabilities they need in an automated economy.

Globalisation. David Autor is also an expert on how globalisation in general and China’s very rapid rise in particular have affected U.S. labor markets, which has in fact been disastrous for low-skilled workers in manufacturing. Globalisation increases the size of a country’s economic pie, but it also makes some of its slices smaller. Autor has clear suggestions for offsetting globalisation’s dislocations while continuing to enjoy its benefits.

Credentials. These are just some of David Autor’s positions and achievements.

  • Ford Professor of Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Associate Department Head, MIT Economics Department
  • Co-director, School Effectiveness and Inequality Initiative, MIT
  • National Bureau of Economic Research:
  • Director, Disability Research Center
  • Faculty research associate, Aging programs
  • Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab, Cambridge: Research Affiliate
  • Fellow, Econometric Society
  • Member, American Academy of Arts and Sciences -Fellow, Society of Labor Economists


David tailors each presentation to the needs of his audience and is not limited to the topics we have listed below. These are subjects that have proven valuable to customers in the past and are meant only to suggest his range and interests. Please ask us about any subject that interests you; we are sure that we can accommodate you.

Why Are There Still So Many Jobs? The Past and Future of Workplace Automation

Lessons from the China Shock: Economic and Political Consequences of China’s Rise for the United States


Will automation take away all our jobs? | TEDxCambridge

Male Unemployment | LSE Growth Commission

The Future of Work: What Jobs Disappear?

Why Are There Still So Many Jobs?