2023 Symposium

Friday, November 10, 2023
1:50 - 5:30 pm Robert A. Jones ‘59 Conference Room

Effects of Technology and AI on Inequality

Technology, digitalization, and AI have changed the economic and political landscape around the world.  This year’s symposium brings together three experts to discuss the impacts of technological change on workers, firms, and policy.


1:50 p.m.

Welcome and Opening Remarks 
John Maluccio, Program Director, International Politics and Economics, Middlebury College

2:00 – 2:45 p.m. 

”Anatomy of Technology Inside the Firm”
Diego Comin, Professor of Economics at Dartmouth College

2:45 – 3:00 p.m.   Break

3:00 – 3:45 p.m.   

“This Is Fine” versus Labor Dystopia: The Uncertain Discourse Concerning the Future of Automation”
Baobao Zhang, Maxwell Dean Assistant Professor of the Politics of AI in the Political Science Department at     the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University

3:45 - 4:00 p.m. Break

4:00 – 4:45 p.m.  

“Robert Peel’s Resurrection: Digitalization and the Land Value Tax”
Gary Winslett, Assistant Professor of Political Science at Middlebury College

4:45 – 5:30 p.m. Panel discussion 

Organizers and Contacts

  • Gary Winslett, Assistant Professor of Political Science
  • Erin Wolcott, Rbt A & Ina Jones Jr Faculty Fellow in Economics; Asst. Prof.


  • International Politics and Economics Program


  • Department of Economics
  • Department of Political Science
  • The Privilege & Poverty Academic Cluster
  • Rohatyn Center for Global Affairs


Each year, the program in International Politics and Economics hosts a symposium that brings experts to speak on a unified topic of substantive interest to IPE majors, faculty, the broader college, and the public.

Instituted in 2012, the event has covered such varied topics as China’s rise on the world stage, various responses to the global economic crisis, and environmental policy’s relationship to inequality.

The program invites experts from a range of disciplines, including economics, political science, business, sociology, geography, and many others. These experts come from a variety of institutions, both liberal arts colleges and universities, but the symposium also includes scholars at think tanks, in government positions, and at nongovernmental organizations who specialize in issues related to the topic. The goal of each symposium is to consider the political and economic dimensions of a pressing issue from varying perspectives represented by the speakers.

The symposium takes place in late fall and offers a Friday afternoon dedicated to discussion of the topic selected that year. Students moderate each talk and the audience engages the speakers with questions in the presentations. The program in International Politics and Economics welcomes topic suggestions. For more information, topic suggestions, and feedback, please contact the International Politics and Economics program director.