MIT Economics receives Hewlett Foundation grant to study job quality

Program will advance research agenda and increase multi-disciplinary cooperation
 


Industrial worker; photo via iStock

"The MIT Economics Department Shaping the Future of Work Program will analyze forces contributing to the erosion of job quality and labor market opportunity for workers without college degrees...and consider institutional, technological, and policy innovations that can change this trajectory."



16 February 2022


The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation is providing a generous gift to MIT Economics to help advance research on reimagining the relationships among markets, governments, and workers.

The Foundation is working to establish complementary initiatives to foster collaboration among higher education institutions. In addition to developing new bodies of research and collaborating with other research institutions through a multidisciplinary approach, the institutions will host convenings to engage scholars, policymakers, and other stakeholders to explore new ways of thinking about our economy.

“Our research has helped examine the nation’s job quality crisis, which is foundational to many of the ills afflicting our society," says Institute Professor Daron Acemoglu. "Understanding how we got here — both philosophically and practically — and how we advance to a new equilibrium will require fresh thinking from many quarters,” noted Ford Professor of Economics David Autor, who will co-lead the program with Acemoglu at MIT.

 



Daron Acemoglu, Institute Professor, and David Autor, Ford Professor of Economics, will co-lead the MIT Economics Department Shaping the Future of Work Program

Led by Institute Professor Daron Acemoglu and David Autor, Ford Professor of Economics, "the program aspires to spearhead new academic research, develop curricula, and convene students, scholars, and policymakers to develop these ideas and put them towards practical applications."



“The Hewlett Foundation’s support of this program will advance our core research agenda, add a much-needed multi-disciplinary dimension to these efforts, and foster new directions by us and our affiliates. We expect considerable scholarly output and engagement with multiple contributors, including economists and other social scientists, as well as policymakers, nongovernmental organizations, and direct stakeholders.”


Research to Practical Applications

The MIT Economics Department Shaping the Future of Work Program will analyze forces contributing to the erosion of job quality and labor market opportunity for workers without college degrees — including technology, trade, rent-sharing, and managerial practices — and consider institutional, technological, and policy innovations that can change this trajectory. The program aspires to spearhead new academic research, develop curricula, and convene students, scholars, and policymakers to develop these ideas and put them towards practical applications.

“We’re grateful for the Hewlett Foundation’s support of MIT Economics, which plays a leading role in economics education, research, and public service,” says department head Glenn Ellison. “To help us further explore inequality, human capital, automation, and other topics critical to our economic future, new research, policy outreach, and curriculum is vital. We intend to integrate research and some of the multidisciplinary directions developed under the auspices of the program into new courses at MIT.”

The grants from the Hewlett Foundation will allow the institutions to begin staffing up and building out their research programs, partnerships, and course offerings.
 


Suggested links

Press Release from the Hewlett Foundation

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

Daron Acemoglu’s MIT webpage

David Autor’s MIT webpage

MIT Department of Economics

Video: Lighting the Path: MIT Economics

MIT School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences

Media Stories: The New York Times