Michael J. Piore is the David W. Skinner Professor of Political Economy, Emeritus, at MIT. He is currently a Visiting Senior Fellow in International and Public Affairs at the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University and continues to teach part-time at MIT, where his is also faculty co-chair of the Industrial Performance Center. He is the founding director of the MIT-Mexico Program and former associate director of the Center for Technology, Policy and Industrial Development. He has served as president of the Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics (SASE) and as an elected member of the executive committee of the American Economic Association.
Professor Piore is a labor economist who has worked on a wide variety of labor problems including international migration, the impact of technological change, trade union organization and collective bargaining. The hallmark of his work is a concern with the way in which the economy is embedded in society and how its evolution is molded and directed by social processes. He is particularly interested in the insights this perspective offers relative to conventional economic theory, with its emphasis on individual decision-making in a competitive market. He is associated with a number of key concepts including the internal labor market, dual labor market analysis and the distinctions between flexible specialization and mass production, between interpretation and analysis in innovation, and between the U.S. and the Franco-Latin approach to work regulation and their impacts on labor market flexibility. These concepts are developed in a number of books and articles including: Internal Labor Markets and Manpower Adjustment (with Peter Doeringer); Dualism and Discontinuity in Industrial Society (with Suzanne Berger); Birds of Passage: Migrant Labor and Industrial Societies; The Second Industrial Divide (with Charles Sabel); Beyond Individualism; and Innovation – The Missing Dimension (with Richard Lester). He is currently completing a book manuscript on labor market regulation with Andrew Schrank. He also is engaged in a larger study of innovation policy in Brazil.
Awards and recognitions include a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, an Honorary Doctorate (Docteur HONORIS CAUSA) from the Universite des Science et Technologies de Lille, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Labor and Employment Relations Association (LERA).
He has worked in the course of his career with a variety of different government agencies, international organizations, and NGO’s including the U.S. Department of Labor, the International Labour Organization, the state of Massachusetts, the government of Puerto Rico, and the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund.