Race and Economics

Race and Economics. David McKay Company Inc, Philadelphia, PA, 1975.


Race makes a difference, in economic transactions as in other areas of life. There has been a tendency to pass over this unpleasant fact, or else to deal with it in purely moral terms. It needs to be dealt with in cause-and-effect terms as well: How does the extent and the degree of racial discrimination affect the market for goods, services, and factors of production? What kind of institutional arrangements increase or reduce the amount of discrimination? How do the experiences and reactions of various ethnic minorities compare in terms of improving or worsening their economic situation? What sorts of markets are more likely to discriminate in selling goods, or in hiring or promotion policies, and what sorts of markets are more likely to hire or promote on individual merit and to sell products to everyone on the same terms? There is no racial economics in the sense of a different kind of analysis for black people than for white people, or for Jews and Gentiles, but there is an economics of race in the sense that the basic principles of economics can be applied to deepen our understanding of the social problems that revolve around race.