MIT professor to give lecture on China’s effect on US labor markets


Photo Courtesy of Lauren Fahey

David Autor is a Ford Professor of Economics and associate head of the MIT Department of Economics.

By Yasmeen Ragab, Assistant Daytime News Editor

Professor David Autor from Massachusetts Institute of Technology will be giving the 2018 David Kinley Public Lecture, “Trade and Labor Markets: Lessons from China’s Rise” at the Spurlock Museum on Thursday. 

Autor is a Ford Professor of Economics and associate head of the Department of Economics at MIT.

David Albouy, associate professor of economics at the University, said the process of getting Autor to speak at this lecture has taken about one year. The topic of this year’s lecture is extremely timely, and it has been since the 2016 election.

Albouy said Autor will discuss what happens to cities in America when imports of certain manufactured products, such as plastic toys, are increasingly coming from countries such as China.

Albouy said the world has certainly benefitted from such imports, but often, there are winners and losers. The lecture will discuss how certain policies can ease transitions of workers in the future.

“When gains exceed losses, the question is: how do you help people who are losing?” Albouy said.

Autor will also discuss how workers respond to changes in employment and wage levels and what the political marital consequences are of these changes.

Albouy expects the 300 available seats in the Knight Auditorium to be full. A brief Q&A session will follow the lecture, followed by a reception of economics and business faculty.

Albouy said Autor will offer a balanced voice of reason in how to help the economically vulnerable. He hopes attendees of the lecture gain a better understanding of how labor markets work and how workers respond to job loss.

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