Educate yourself on the history of race and racism in the economy and in economics itself.
On June 5, 2020, the AEA Executive Committee issued a statement encouraging all economists to seek out existing scholarship on race, stratification economics, and related topics and to develop new research on racism and how to end its impact on the economy.
The officers and governance committees of the American Economic Association are deeply saddened by the killings of Black men and women by police officers, and we condemn those acts in the strongest possible terms. We acknowledge the pain of our colleagues and students—and especially our Black colleagues and students—who must once again bear witness to evidence that violent racism has not yet been eradicated from our society…
We encourage all economists to seek out existing scholarship on race, stratification economics, and related topics. To get us started, our AEASP and CSMGEP colleagues and students are compiling a reading list on racism and the experience of Black Americans…We look forward to the development of new scholarship by economists to better understand racism, a word that rarely appears in our professional journals, and how to end its impact on our economy.Statement from the AEA Executive Committee (June 5, 2020)
A day earlier, the NEA (June 4, 2020) called for “concerted, forceful, engaged action aimed at fostering structural change through policies and practices to improve the lives of Black people in the United States and around the world. NEA members, as part of a research and policy-oriented community, have been engaged in creating blueprints for these policies and we call on policymakers, stakeholders and allies to commit to enacting these plans.”
Works suggested by AEASP and CSMGEP colleagues and students on the history of race, racism, and the experience of Black Americans
- Alexander, Michelle. The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. The New Press, 2020.
- Anderson, Carol. White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of our Racial Divide. Bloomsbury Publishing USA, 2016.
- Baradaran, Mehrsa. The Color of Money: Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap. Harvard University Press, 2017.
- Benjamin, Ruha. Race after Technology: Abolitionist Tools for the New Jim Code. John Wiley & Sons, 2019.
- Coates, Ta-Nehisi. Between the World and Me. One World, 2015.
- Darity Jr, William A., and A. Kirsten Mullen. From Here to Equality: Reparations for Black Americans in the Twenty-First Century. UNC Press, 2020.
- DiAngelo, Robin. White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism. Beacon Press, 2018.
- Fanon, Frantz. The Wretched of the Earth. Grove/Atlantic, Inc., 2007.
- Flynn, Andrea, Susan R. Holmberg, Dorian T. Warren, and Felicia J. Wong. The Hidden Rules of Race: Barriers to an Inclusive Economy. Cambridge University Press, 2017.
- Kendi, Ibram X. How to be an Antiracist. One World/Ballantine, 2019.
- Kendi, Ibram X. Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America. Random House, 2017.
- Oluo, Ijeoma. So You Want to Talk about Race. Seal Press, 2019.
- Rothstein, Richard. The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America. W.W. Norton & Company, 2017.
- Zambrana, Ruth Enid. Toxic Ivory Towers: The Consequences of Work Stress on Underrepresented Minority Faculty. Rutgers University Press, 2018.
Articles and reports
- Coates, Ta-Nehisi. The case for reparations. The Atlantic 313, no. 5 (2014): 54-71.
- Cook, Lisa D. Violence and economic activity: evidence from African American patents, 1870–1940. Journal of Economic Growth 19, no. 2 (2014): 221-257.
- Gould, Elise, and Valerie Wilson. Black workers face two of the most lethal preexisting conditions for coronavirus—racism and economic inequality. EPI Report. June 2020.
- Hannah-Jones, Nikole, and Mary N. Elliott, eds. The 1619 Project. New York Times, 2019.
- <many in the Review of Black Political Economy>
- <three popular press articles that spoke to a colleague personally: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/02/opinion/police-killings-black-mental-health.html, https://www.wsj.com/articles/for-black-professionals-unrest-lays-bare-a-balancing-act-at-work-11591202955, https://time.com/5848269/moms-equal-pay-day/ >
- The Videos That Rocked America. The Song That Knows Our Rage
- Scene on Radio: Seeing White
- The Indicator: Racism and Economics, Unemployment and the Racial Divide, and Story Of A Paper
- I Am Not Your Negro, a 2016 documentary film directed by Raoul Peck and based on James Baldwin’s unfinished manuscript Remember This House
- Just Mercy, a 2019 American legal drama film directed by Destin Daniel Cretton, based on the memoir and work by Bryan Stevenson
- Selma, a 2014 historical drama film directed by Ava DuVernay and written by Paul Webb
- 13th, a 2016 documentary by director Ava DuVernay tracing the history of race, slavery, and incarceration in the United States
- Letters for Black Lives, resources and a letter translated into over 40 languages
- #Charlestonsyllabus from the African American Intellectual History Society
AEA resources on race in the economics profession
- AEA Professional Climate Survey: Final Report and summaries: It was a Mistake for Me to Choose This Field, (Professional) Climate Change
- AEA Best Practices for Economists: Offers concrete, evidence-based steps to build a more diverse, inclusive, and productive profession
- AEA Code of Conduct and Policy on Harassment and Discrimination
- AEA Ombudsperson
- Articles on racial disparities in AEA(+) journals
Addendum: Academic articles on the history of race and racism in the field of economics
- Darity Jr, William. “Many roads to extinction early AEA economists and the black disappearance hypothesis.” History of Economics Review 21, no. 1 (1994): 47-64. https://doi.org/10.1080/10370196.1994.11733149
- Leonard, Thomas C. “Retrospectives: Eugenics and economics in the progressive era.” Journal of Economic Perspectives 19, no. 4 (2005): 207-224. https://www.aeaweb.org/articles?id=10.1257/089533005775196642
- Winling, LaDale C., and Todd M. Michney. “The Roots of Redlining: Academic, Governmental, and Professional Networks in the Making of the New Deal Lending Regime.” Journal of American History 108, no. 1 (2021): 42-69. https://doi.org/10.1093/jahist/jaab066