Joel Mokyr and the curse of Adam

Man must work. But how man works matters. Brendan Greeley sat down with Joel Mokyr, an economist and economic historian at Northwestern University, at an event on the future of work at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. Policymakers tend to focus on the binary question of a job — do people have one, or not. But the quality of that work, the questions of meaning and satisfaction, are important to people, in a way that has political consequences. They wandered all the way back to Adam Smith, and eventually the curse of Adam himself, to talk about how the meaning and definition of "work" has changed, and why that matters now.

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