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Financial Times

Writing for the Financial Times, Jon Hilsenrath revisits lessons from the occupational shifts of the early 2000s when probing AI’s potential impact on the workplace. He references Prof. David Autor’s research, calling him “an optimist who sees a future for middle-income workers not in spite of AI, but because of it…creating work and pay gains for large numbers of less-skilled workers who missed out during the past few decades.”

WBUR

Prof. David Autor is a guest of Meghna Chakrabarti on WBUR’s On Point, discussing his research on the potential impact of AI on the workforce. Autor says “AI is a tool that can enable more people with the right foundational training and judgment to do more valuable work.”

New York Times

Prof. David Autor speaks with New York Times reporter Jim Tankersley about the economic implications of President Biden’s decision to codify and escalate tariffs on Chinese goods. Autor’s “latest research warns of the economic perils of poorly designed trade policy, but it also explains why presidents might keep pursuing it,” explains Tankersley. 

The Hill

The Hill reporter Tobias Burns spotlights the efforts of a number of MIT researchers to better understand the impact of generative AI on productivity in the workforce. One research study “looked as cases where AI helped improved productivity and worker experience specifically in outsourced settings, such as call centers,” explains Burns. Another research study explored the impact of AI programs, such as ChatGPT, among employees. 

CNBC

“We know the movie and we know how it ends,” said Squawk Box host Andrew Ross Sorkin during an interview with Prof. Eric So, referencing a resurgence of the late 2020 meme stocks craze. “Stock prices move to business fundamentals but they also move to waves of market sentiment which reflect market demand but have little to do with fundamentals,” So comments. 

Project Syndicate

Writing for Project Syndicate, Institute Prof. Daron Acemoglu and Prof. Simon Johnson draw upon the work of economist David Ricardo and his insights on the Industrial Revolution to explore how to respond to the challenge posed by AI to good jobs. “It is still possible to have pro-worker AI, but only if we can change the direction of innovation in the tech industry and introduce new regulations and institutions,” they write.  

The Washington Post

GiveDirectly, a nonprofit co-founded by MIT and Harvard alumni, works with “economists to identify the most efficient ways to reduce poverty,” reports Katharine Houreld for The Washington Post. “Lump sums are the most efficient way to give cash, according to a study of GiveDirectly programs released in December that compared the impact of three methods,” explains Houreld. “Two years in, recipients of the lump sum have spent more money on health care, and more of their children have scored better on school exams, according to the study by MIT economics professor Abhijit Banerjee and others." 

NPR

Prof. Jonathan Gruber speaks with Boston Public Radio hosts Jim Braude and Margery Eagan to explain the relationship between inflation and interest rates. “What’s driving the inflation recently is auto insurance prices,” says Gruber. “Why are insurance prices going up? It actually comes back to the Fed. Auto insurers make a profit in two ways. One is by charging you more than they’ll pay out and the other is investing money and getting rates of return on that money.”

Freakonomics Radio

Prof. Joshua Angrist speaks with Freakonomics Radio host Stephen Dubner about the influence of his work on public policy. “I like to influence public policy. And I’m happy when I influence public policy, but that is not what I get up in the morning and set out to do,” says Angrist. “I’m an academic, and what I set out to do is high-quality scholarship. I like to get things published in top journals. That’s how I measure my influence. Now, ultimately, a lot of the work I do does affect public policy, or at least it becomes part of the discussion, and that’s gratifying.”

Bloomberg

Prof. Esther Duflo will present her research on poverty reduction and her “proposal for a global minimum tax on billionaires and increased corporate levies to G-20 finance chiefs,” reports Andrew Rosati for Bloomberg. “The plan calls for redistributing the revenues to low- and middle-income nations to compensate for lives lost due to a warming planet,” writes Rosati. “It also adds to growing calls to raise taxes on the world’s wealthiest to help its most needy.”

Nature

Prof. David Autor speaks with Nature reporter Dalmeet Singh Chawla about the long-term impact of his research on policy documents. Autor’s work from November 2003 “is now the third most cited in policy documents worldwide,” writes Chawla. “Autor thinks his study stands out because his paper was different from what other economists were writing at the time. It suggested that ‘middle-skill’ work, typically done in offices or factories by people who haven’t attended university, was going to be largely automated, leaving workers with either highly skilled jobs or manual work.”

The Wall Street Journal

Writing for The Wall Street Journal, Prof. S.P. Kothari and Senior Lecturer Robert Pozen explain why U.S. consumers “continue to feel they are suffering from inflation, although the annual rate of inflation dropped sharply during 2023.” “The answer is that consumers have a broader time horizon,” they write. “[Consumers] are looking at the rate of price increases over the past three years. From January 2021 to January 2024, the consumer price index for all items rose by 17.96%.”

New York Times

Prof. Emeritus Olivier Blanchard speaks with New York Times reporter Peter Coy about the impact of wage increases on inflation. “Fundamentally, it is hard to believe that when the economy is overheating there is not going to be pressure of some sort on wages and prices,” says Blanchard.

Los Angeles Times

Rich Lyons PhD '87 has been named the new chancellor of UC Berkeley, reports Teresa Watanabe for The Los Angeles Times. Lyons is “a leader of innovation and entrepreneurship who cultivated a culture of questioning the status quo as a business school dean,” writes Watanabe. “Lyons has won numerous teaching awards and is seen as a charismatic insider with skills to navigate the complex Berkeley culture – and enliven campus events with mean guitar-playing skills.”

PBS

Prof. David Autor speaks with PBS host Walter Isaacson about the fear surrounding AI’s impact in the workforce and his view that AI could provide new opportunities for middle class workers. “Most of the time, technology is good for the elite and not so good for everybody else,” says Autor. “[AI] is a case where the technology might compete a little bit more with the elite and enable more people to do valuable work,” resulting in higher wages and more job opportunity for the middle class.