back to news Nov. 19, 2020

Logan named director of inaugural NBER working group on race and economics

Trevon Logan, professor of economics and interim dean of Social and Behavioral Sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences, has been appointed director of the National Bureau of Economic Research’s (NBER) inaugural Working Group on Race and Stratification in the Economy.

The new working group will bring together researchers from the various subfields of economics to examine the causes and consequences of racial economic disparities. It will explore how public policies, private practices and other political institutions influence racial disparities in economic outcomes including income, wealth, housing, educational attainment, labor market outcomes and economic mobility. The group will also consider ways to better integrate race into all aspects of economic analysis more broadly.

The group will meet twice each year, starting with a virtual meeting in April 2021.

“We see race play a critical role in so many features in our economy, not just racial disparities, but how policies are created and implemented, how we measure the health of our economy and how we build a prosperous future,” Logan said. “Some estimates claim that racism costs our economy trillions of dollars — potential that is untapped, markets that are inefficient and resources that are squandered. Having the NBER take these issues as central in the highest-quality economic research is an important indication of the possibilities to do some truly pathbreaking work that will have a measurable impact on material living conditions for all Americans.”

Logan has been an NBER research associate since 2010 and specializes in economic history, economic demography and applied microeconomics, with a focus on economic racial disparities. He was recently named director of the American Economic Association Mentoring Program, which matches underrepresented PhD students and new doctorates with mentors in the field. He has written extensively about the stark racial health and economic disparities revealed by the COVID-19 pandemic for The Hamilton Project and Bloomberg, and more broadly about economic disparities for the Washington Center for Equitable Growth and The Conversation.

The NBER is a private, nonpartisan organization with a network of over 1,550 affiliated economists that facilitates and promotes analysis of major economic issues. Its community posts over 1,200 working papers annually, and 32 current or former NBER affiliates have been awarded the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences.