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ECON 257
The Economics of Race Fall 2020
Division II Difference, Power, and Equity

Class Details

This course will examine the causes and consequences of racial disparities in economic outcomes. Specific topics will include the economic history of slavery, Reconstruction and the Civil Rights Movement; racial gaps in earnings, wealth, educational attainment, standardized test scores, and health outcomes; formal models of taste-based and statistical discrimination; and the structure and efficacy of government anti-discrimination policies. Much of the course will focus on racial discrimination faced by African Americans specifically, but there will also be coverage of other racial and ethnic minority groups. The course will additionally focus almost exclusively on the US, although many of the theories and techniques we will develop are applicable to other contexts as well. The course will utilize basic microeconomic tools, such as straightforward extensions of the supply and demand model, and ECON 110 is a prerequisite. We will also make extensive use of descriptive statistics, and an introductory statistics course such as STAT 101 will be useful, but is not required.
The Class: Format: lecture; I anticipate conducting the "hybrid" version of the course broadly similarly to the in-person version, but with students participating remotely attending synchronous discussions/lectures via Zoom. A teaching assistant will monitor the Zoom feed so I can respond to questions and comments from students participating online.
Limit: 25
Expected: 25
Class#: 2397
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: exams, short written responses, problem sets, participation
Prerequisites: ECON 110
Enrollment Preferences: First- and second-year students.
Distributions: Division II Difference, Power, and Equity
DPE Notes: The course is well suited for the DPE distribution requirement as it will develop in detail not only the existence of race-based differences in a wide variety of key socioeconomic outcomes, but also explore the historical and contemporary processes that lead to those differences.
Attributes: POEC U.S. Political Economy + Public Policy Course

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