Insights / Video

Labor, Jobs, and the Modern Economy: A Conversation with Chicago Booth Professor Erik Hurst

The Becker Friedman Institute for Economics (BFI), the Chicago Economics Society (CES), and the Booth Alumni Club of Washington, DC, welcomed Chicago Booth’s Erik Hurst, the V. Duane Rath Professor of Economics and Deputy Director of the Becker Friedman Institute. Wall Street Journal Labor, Economics, and Policy Reporter Eric Morath moderated the discussion.

American men between the ages of 25 and 54 are working fewer hours, and the overall workforce participation of this prime-aged group lags behind that in other developed countries. What forces are behind these trends?

Hurst and Morath discussed a host of issues that have helped shape employment outcomes of many American workers, including: the decline of U.S. manufacturing jobs, the collapse of the housing market, the role of technology in driving productivity growth, human capital constraints, the growing distraction of video games, and more.