How the economics profession excludes discussion of race and racism : The Indicator from Planet Money Why a groundbreaking paper by Lisa Cook on the effects of racist violence took ten years to get published.

Story Of A Paper

Story Of A Paper

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Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Lisa Cook, associate professor at the Michigan State University, left and Peter Blair Henry, dean emeritus of New York University Leonard N. Stern School of Business, arrive for dinner during the Jackson Hole economic symposium. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Back in 2014, economist Lisa Cook of Michigan State University published a groundbreaking paper in the Journal of Economic Growth. The paper was about violence against African-Americans from 1870 to 1940, and about the way that violence that depressed inventive activity among members of that community.

The journey of getting this paper published had actually started a decade earlier, in the early 2000s, when Lisa first started putting together her research agenda. She got some encouragement from senior economists, including Milton Friedman. But many of her fellow economists, her peers, were not particularly supportive. She kept at it until the paper was published. It took nearly a decade, and the kinds of rejections and the barriers that Lisa faced on her journey are deeply revealing about the economics profession. And deeply troubling.

You can read Lisa Cook's paper here:

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