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Displaying 1 - 15 of 177 news clips related to this topic.

The Wall Street Journal

A new study co-authored by Prof. Emilio Castilla finds that using stereotypically masculine or feminine adjectives to describe the qualities needed for a job opening has a negligible effect on who applies, reports Lisa Ward for The Wall Street Journal. “It’s a superficial intervention with little tangible effect,” says Castilla.

The Washington Post

Writing for The Washington Post, Brian Deese, an MIT Innovation Fellow, explores the resilience of America’s post pandemic economic recovery and the strength of the labor market. “This economic recovery is defying expectations,” writes Deese. “Enabling more people to work can extend this improbable progress and lay the groundwork for long-term economic growth.”  


 Prof. Arnaud Costinot and Prof. Iván Werning speak with TechCrunch reporter Brian Heater about their research examining the potential impact of a robot tax on automation and jobs. “The potential wages people can earn may become more unequal with new technologies and the idea is that the tax can mitigate these effects,” Costinot and Werning explain. “In a sense, one can think of this as pre-distribution, affecting earnings before taxes, instead of redistribution.”

Freakonomics Radio

Prof. Simon Johnson speaks with Freakonomics guest host Adam Davidson about his new book, economic history, and why new technologies impact people differently. “What do people creating technology, deploying technology— what exactly are they seeking to achieve? If they’re seeking to replace people, then that’s what they’re going to be doing,” says Johnson. “But if they’re seeking to make people individually more productive, more creative, enable them to design and carry out new tasks — let’s push the vision more in that direction. And that’s a naturally more inclusive version of the market economy. And I think we will get better outcomes for more people.”


Forbes reporter Roger Trapp spotlights Prof. Zeynep Ton’s work in improving employer operations as part of an effort to better satisfy employees. Ton has written two books, “Good Jobs Strategy: How the Smartest Companies Invest in Employees to Lower Costs and Boost Profits” and “The Case for Good Jobs,” which explores how “a combination of high investment in people and a set of choices [can produce] operational excellence,” writes Trapp.


Prof. Emeritus Thomas Kochan speaks with Sarah Gonzalez of NPR’s Planet Money about why European workers tend to be allotted more vacation time than workers in the U.S. Kochan notes that “if given the option, workers are historically more interested in seeing their take-home pay increase than they are in getting another day or week of vacation,” particularly when they have to cover the costs of health insurance.

USA Today

A working paper co-authored by Prof. John Horton and graduate students Emma van Inwegen and Zanele Munyikwa has found that “AI has the potential to level the playing field for non-native English speakers applying for jobs by helping them better present themselves to English-speaking employers,” reports Medora Lee for USA Today. “Between June 8 and July 14, 2021, [Inwegen] studied 480,948 job seekers, who applied for jobs that require English to be spoken but who mostly lived in nations where English is not the native language,” explains Lee. “Of those who used AI, 7.8% were more likely to be hired.”


Prof. David Autor and his colleagues have documented China’s impact on manufacturing jobs in the U.S. after joining the World Trade Organization in 2001, an effect known as the China shock, reports Shawn Donnan for Bloomberg in an article about how manufacturing job losses impacted Rockingham County in North Carolina. “Declining populations of young workers, as well as lower pay, have persisted in Rockingham and other communities hardest hit by this China shock, the researchers found in a 2021 paper,” writes Donnan.

Financial Times

Prof. David Autor speaks with Delphine Strauss of the Financial Times about the risks AI poses to jobs and job quality, but also the technology’s potential to help rebuild middle-class jobs. “The good case for AI is where it enables people with foundational expertise or judgment to do more expert work with less expertise,” says Autor. He adds, “My hope is that we can use AI to reinstate the value of skills held by people without as high a degree of formal education.”

The Boston Globe

Prof. Daron Acemoglu speaks with Boston Globe reporters Alex Kantrowitz and Douglas Gorman about how to address the advance of AI in the workplace. “We know from many areas that have rapidly automated that they don’t deliver the types of returns that they promised,” says Acemoglu. “Humans are underrated.”  


Prof. Simon Johnson speaks with Reuters reporter Mark John about the impact of AI on the economy. “AI has got a lot of potential – but potential to go either way,” says Johnson. “We are at a fork in the road.”


In a new working paper, researchers at MIT and UCLA examined a group of newly hired data entry workers in India and found that “workers randomly assigned to work from home full-time are 18% less productive than those in the office,” reports Jo Constantz for Bloomberg. As Constantz notes, “The new research underscores the challenges inherent in productivity research. Since the workers in the trial were newly hired, their outcomes may differ from employees who switch to fully remote only after first spending significant time on-site.”

The Washington Post

Prof. Manish Raghavan speaks with The Washington Post reporter Danielle Abril about the risk of AI bias in employers’ recruitment behavior. “For example, AI could appear to be biased in matching mostly Harvard graduates to some jobs when those graduates may just have a higher likelihood to match certain requirements,” explains Abril. “Humans already struggle with implicit biases, often favoring people like themselves, and that could get replicated through AI.”

The Hill

Prof. Emeritus Thomas Kochan writes for The Hill about the need for a new social contract that reflects the expectations of today’s workforce, including sizable wage increases due to inflation and a voice in the use of AI and generative technology. “Either labor and management negotiate a new social contract that is more responsive to what workers want and need today, or we will experience intensified conflicts that further divide our country,” writes Kochan.