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Co-Chair, MIT Task Force on the Work of the FutureFord Professor of Economics
Labor Studies Program Director, National Bureau of Economic Research
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David Autor is Ford Professor of Economics and associate head of the MIT Department of Economics. His scholarship explores the labor market impacts of technological change and globalization, earnings inequality, and disability insurance and labor supply. Autor has received several awards for his scholarship, including the National Science Foundation Career Award; an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellowship; and the Sherwin Rosen Prize for outstanding contributions in the field of labor economics—and for his teaching, including MIT’s James A. and Ruth Levitan Award for excellence in teaching; the Undergraduate Economic Association Teaching Award; and the Faculty Appreciation Award from the MIT Technology and Policy Program. He was recognized by Bloomberg as one of the 50 people who defined global business in 2017. Autor is a faculty research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research and is also affiliated with the National Bureau of Economic Research, the MIT School Effectiveness and Inequality Initiative, the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab, and the Institute for the Study of Labor. He is editor-in-chief of the Journal of Economic Perspectives. Autor received a BA in psychology from Tufts University and a PhD in public policy at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.

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Research Briefs | August 3, 2020

The Faltering Escalator of Urban Opportunity

David Autor Co-Chair, MIT Task Force on the Work of the Future; Ford Professor of Economics Labor Studies Program; Director, National Bureau of Economic Research

For much of modern U.S. history, workers were drawn to cities by opportunities for the more enriching work offered there and the higher pay that came with it.

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Related News | July 8, 2020

How big cities became inequality machines

The Washington Post

Even without a profession, connections or education, cities were once the ultimate ticket to the middle class. For Black Americans, they're no longer a guarantee.

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Professor Autor discusses changes in technological innovation and how they are affecting work, productivity and income distribution.