Ben Armstrong

Ben Armstrong

Executive Director, Industrial Performance Center
Co-Lead, Work of the Future Initiative

Ben Armstrong is the Executive Director and a Research Scientist at MIT’s Industrial Performance Center, where he co-leads the Work of the Future initiative. His research and teaching examine how workers, firms, and regions adapt to technological change. His current projects include a working group on generative AI and its impact on jobs, as well as a book on American manufacturing competitiveness. His research has been published or featured in academic and popular outlets including the New York Times, Harvard Business Review, Forbes, Sloan Management Review, Times Higher Education, Boston Review, Daedalus, and Economic Development Quarterly.

Previously, Ben was a Research Fellow and Postdoctoral Research Associate at Brown University, where he studied how workers, policymakers, and the public think about automation and taught courses on technology, public policy, and capitalism. He worked with the Provost to spearhead the Brown and the Innovation Economy initiative, which developed a strategy for the university to contribute to good job growth in the region, and a faculty colloquium on the future of work. In partnership with the State of Rhode Island and others, he studied the longest autonomous vehicle public transit route in the United States to date.

Ben completed his undergraduate degree at Northwestern University and his PhD at MIT, where he received the Lucian Pye Award for Outstanding Political Science PhD Dissertation. Before graduate school, he helped lead an open-source hardware non-profit and worked at Google Inc.

Research website



The Puzzle of the Missing Robots, MIT, 2022

Advanced Technology, Advanced Training, Initiative for Knowledge & Innovation in Manufacturing, 2021

Why Innovation Hubs Fail, Boston Review, 2021

Industrial Policy and Local Economic Transformation: Evidence From the U.S. Rust Belt, Economic Development Quarterly, 2021

Unraveling the Silicon Valley Consensus, Boston Review, 2016

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