” Economists have understood since the Victorian era that the main benefits of trade come from comparative advantage: the idea that people can specialize in what they’re good at and then benefit from exchange. The principle is no more mysterious than specialization in the labor market. “


” There’s a reason I write articles and go out for good dinners: because I’m better at research than cooking. And there are people who are much better at cooking than research, so it’s mutually beneficial for us to specialize. “


” People tend to think about trade as if it’s competition between companies – if Apple wins, Google loses. But that’s false. Trade makes nations better off in general. Now, I want to be clear. I’m not saying that everything about trade is good and beneficial. Trade also has costs. “


” The average worker in 2015 wanting to attain the average living standard in 1915 could do so by working just 17 weeks a year, one third of the time. But most people don’t choose to do that. They are willing to work hard to harvest the technological bounty that is available to them. Material abundance has never eliminated perceived scarcity. “


” A lot of the work in, say, construction or restaurants involves visual and motor flexibility. It also requires adaptability, in terms of answering questions, giving people directions, or taking orders. “


” Work is what structures adults’ lives: it gives us purpose, focus, a set of responsibilities, and an identity. So when people are not participating in the labour market, all sorts of other things often start to go wrong. “


” The fact that people are dropping out of the labour force says one of two things: either employers have no use for them, or they have no use for the jobs that are being offered at the wages they can command. “


” The long-term policies that will be most effective all have to do with investment: investing in ourselves, investing in opportunities, creating good schools, and creating situations where people can acquire skills that enable them to be successful. “


” I think we labor economists like to think of ourselves as being closer to the people. “


” The last 200 years, we’ve had an incredible amount of automation. We have tractors that do the work that horses and people used to do on farms. We don’t dig ditches by hand anymore. We don’t pound tools out of wrought iron. We don’t do bookkeeping with books! But this has not, in net, reduced the amount of employment. “


” There’s never been a better time to be a worker with special skills or the right education, because these people can use technology to create and capture value. “


” There is no question we are in an era of people asking, ‘Is the Robocalypse upon us? “


” Trade may raise GDP. But it does make some people worse off. “



All 13 David Autor Quotes about People in picture


Economists have understood since the Victorian era that the main benefits of trade come from comparative advantage: the idea that people can specialize in what they
There
People tend to think about trade as if it
The average worker in 2015 wanting to attain the average living standard in 1915 could do so by working just 17 weeks a year, one third of the time. But most people don
A lot of the work in, say, construction or restaurants involves visual and motor flexibility. It also requires adaptability, in terms of answering questions, giving people directions, or taking orders.
Work is what structures adults
The fact that people are dropping out of the labour force says one of two things: either employers have no use for them, or they have no use for the jobs that are being offered at the wages they can command.
The long-term policies that will be most effective all have to do with investment: investing in ourselves, investing in opportunities, creating good schools, and creating situations where people can acquire skills that enable them to be successful.
I think we labor economists like to think of ourselves as being closer to the people.
The last 200 years, we
There
There is no question we are in an era of people asking,
Trade may raise GDP. But it does make some people worse off.

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