Survey Reveals That Many Black Economists Feel They Are Not Welcome in the Profession

The Committee on Equity, Diversity and Professional Conduct of the American Economic Association’s recent climate survey offers data on the view of Black economists in the academic world on the level of discrimination they have received at their educational institution.

More than one quarter of Black economists in academia believe they have been discriminated against in promotion decisions. Nearly one third of Black economists said they had been discriminated against in compensation. More than 30 percent of Black economists said that they had faced discrimination in publishing decisions, course evaluations, and invitations to conferences.

More than 30 percent of Black economists stated that to avoid possible harassment, discrimination, or unfair or disrespectful treatment, they had not applied for or taken a particular employment position, not spoken at a conference or during a seminar presentation, or did not attend social events after class, at work, or at conferences.

Only 10 percent of Black respondents agreed with the statement that “discrimination is rare within the field of economics today.” Only  17 percent of Black respondents said that “people of my race/ethnicity are respected within the field.” And 81 percent of Black respondents agreed that “economics would be a more vibrant discipline if it were more diverse.”

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  1. This unfortunately happens across the academy. I witnessed and experienced things like this first hand during my time as a college professor.

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