Weekly Grooves

Using Diversity to Bring a New Lens to Old Problems

June 27, 2020

This week, Tim found an article published by the American Economic Association with Harvard professor Mario Small, PhD called “Rethinking racial discrimination: how sociology can help economics diversify its perspective.”

The article explores how – with only 3% of economists identifying as black in a recent AEA survey – economists are lacking a diverse perspective.  Dr. Small argues this inhibits creativity and innovation in the field of economics and is particularly true as it relates to how racial discrimination is studied in economics.

He argues that economics could learn from sociology in the way the field embraces different perspectives and uses each to paint a more accurate and holistic understanding of issues. He points out that there are currently only two main perspectives on discrimination in economics – “taste-based and statistical-discrimination,” neither of which reaches the underlying issues. 

In this episode, Kurt and Tim explore the article with a slightly different lens. We have seen how diversity of race and gender and age and political affiliation can lead to more engaging discussions, improved creativity, more robust innovation, and hence better outcomes, in science, business, and our personal lives.

We hope you enjoy our discussion and please share it with a friend if you found it helpful.

© 2020 Weekly Grooves



Rethinking racial discrimination: https://www.aeaweb.org/research/economics-racial-discrimination-mario-small

HBR: Does Diversity Actually Increase Creativity?: https://hbr.org/2017/06/does-diversity-actually-increase-creativity

Ethnic Diversity and Creativity in Small Groups: McLeod, Lobel & Cox: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1046496496272003

Hidden Brain: Creative Differences: https://www.npr.org/2019/01/24/687707404/creative-differences-the-benefits-of-reaching-out-to-people-unlike-ourselves

Implicit Bias Review: http://kirwaninstitute.osu.edu/implicit-bias-training/resources/2017-implicit-bias-review.pdf

Diversity and black leadership in corporate America: https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/02/success/diversity-and-black-leadership-in-corporate-america/index.html

Kimberle Crenshaw, JD: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kimberl%C3%A9_Williams_Crenshaw

April Seifert, PhD in Episode 24: https://behavioralgrooves.com/episode/april-seifert-on-digital-exhaust-analysis-and-gender-stereotyping/

Race and Intelligence: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Race_and_intelligence

April Seifert, PhD – Episode 24 of Behavioral Grooves: https://behavioralgrooves.com/episode/april-seifert-on-digital-exhaust-analysis-and-gender-stereotyping/

GI Joe Effect: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GimHHAID_P0


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