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Minorities’ Fields of Expertise in Economics and Employment Demand in These Fields


Efforts by public and private institutions to increase the number of minorities participating in graduate economics programs has contributed to a growing supply of Ph. D. trained minority economists. However, minorities are still under-represented as faculty members in economics departments. This presidential address explores whether the concentration of minorities in a few fields of specialization creates a demand-supply mismatch for these individuals.

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  1. The Report on the status of minority groups reports that the percentage of minorities receiving their Ph.D. in economics ranges from a low of 6.3% in 2003 to a high of 9.1 % in 1999, compared to a low of 9.4% in 1996 and a high of 13.2% in 2003 for minorities in all social sciences (Rouse 2008)

  2. See Price (2008)

  3. See Agesa and Price (2006). Their article reports publications in JEL listed journals for 52 African-American researchers. A short-coming associated with using this list is that it excludes Hispanic and Native American economists. However, information identifying non-black minority economists is not readily available to the public

  4. Though not reported on Table 3, a significant share of the research in labor economics by minority economists examines racial disparities in earnings and employment


  • Rouse C. “Report on the status of minority groups in economics,” Am Econ Rev. 2008; 619–27. May.

  • Price G. “Economics faculties: the status of racial minorities,” The Minority Report. 2008;4–5. winter.

  • Agesa G, Price G. “The research productivity of black economist: A Rejoinder,” Rev Black Polit Econ. 2006;51–63.

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Correspondence to James Peoples.

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An earlier version of this presentation is presented in the “Minority Report,” winter 2009, pp: 12–14.

This paper constitutes a Presidential Address to the National Economic Association at the annual meeting of the Allied Social Science Association, San Francisco, California, January 4, 2009.

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Peoples, J. Minorities’ Fields of Expertise in Economics and Employment Demand in These Fields. Rev Black Polit Econ 36, 1–6 (2009).

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  • African American economists
  • Employment mismatch
  • Research specialization