Why does it matter?
(We are still in the process of transferring material to this page, but you already know the answer anyway. In the meantime, read on!)
The economics profession includes disproportionately few women and members of historically underrepresented racial and ethnic minority groups,…constraining the range of issues addressed and limiting our collective ability to understand familiar issues from new and innovative perspectives…If the ultimate goal of economic research is to develop and communicate lasting insights, [the] evidence suggests that the value and impact of the economics profession suffer from the lack of diversity in its ranks.Bayer, Amanda, and Cecilia Elena Rouse. 2016. “Diversity in the Economics Profession: A New Attack on an Old Problem.” Journal of Economic Perspectives, 30 (4): 221-42. https://www.aeaweb.org/articles?id=10.1257/jep.30.4.221
Searches of journal articles in JSTOR show that economics articles rarely contain the word racism; just one percent of economics articles mention this significant social phenomenon, while other social science disciplines discuss it at two to five times that rate.Bayer (2018) The Economics Profession’s Unique Problem with Diversity, The Minority Report. https://assets.aeaweb.org/assets/production/files/6291.pdf#page=17
A minority of survey respondents in each race-by-gender subgroup is satisfied with the overall climate within the field of economics. Few, including only 15 percent of white men, believe that discrimination is rare within the field of economics today, and even fewer think that it is not important for the field to be inclusive toward people with different backgrounds. The benefits of a more inclusive profession are widely acknowledged: two-thirds of survey respondents believe that economics would be a more vibrant discipline if it were more diverse. Many economists appear to want to make the field more diverse and inclusive, but they may need better knowledge of what to do differently and better appreciation of the lived experiences of individuals who are being excluded.Bayer (2020) (Professional) Climate Change, The Minority Report, citing data from AEA Professional Climate Survey, with Sam Allgood, Lee Badgett, Marianne Bertrand, Sandra E. Black, Nick Bloom and Lisa D. Cook (2019) American Economic Association.