Michael-David Mangini

Michael-David Mangini

PhD Candidate in Political Economy and Government

Harvard University


I am currently a Ph.D. candidate in the Political Economy and Government program, which is jointly administered by the Harvard Departments of Government and Economics and the Harvard Kennedy School. Before graduate school I worked in economic consulting and I graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2014. My research primarily studies the international political economy of trade using formal and quantitative methods.

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  • BA in International Relations and Economics, 2014

    University of Pennsylvania

  • PhD in Political Economy and Government, Expected: 2022

    Harvard University

Working Papers

Why Populists Neglect Automation: The Political Economy of Economic Dislocation

If globalization caused enough economic dislocation to attract the ire of elected officials and voters, then why didn’t the rise of automation also induce similar changes? If globalization induced such intense anxiety among voters, why did they respond by supporting anti-globalization candidates instead of supporting greater economic transfers to those harmed by economic shocks? Our argument is that the collision of economic nationalism and comparative advantage explains both questions. Economic nationalists are distinguished by their belief that the best way to secure their state’s independence from foreign political influence is to protect its economic self-sufficiency. For an economic nationalist living in a technology or capital abundant state, imports of labor-intensive products both destroy manufacturing jobs and make the state dependent on foreign inputs. By contrast, economic nationalists in capital-abundant states are ambivalent about automation. New automation technologies developed domestically also harm manufacturing employment but they promote the economic self-sufficiency of the state. Opportunistic populist politicians neglect automation as a cause of economic dislocation because their natural constituency is conflicted about the merits of stopping it directly. But they are united in their opposition to foreign imports.

Teaching Experience

Gov1780: International Political Economy
Undergraduate Students
Econ2020a: Microeconomic Theory I
PhD Students
API101: Markets and Market Failure
Masters Students
Gov40: International Conflict and Cooperation
Undergraduate Students
BGP610: The Political Economy of International Trade
Masters Students
Econ1400: The Future of Globalization
Undergraduate Students

Teaching – API101