Promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion is central to my career and indeed is the very reason that I became a development economist in the first place. The world is a deeply inequitable place: the poorest Americans have living standards that far outstrip those of even fairly rich people from sub-Saharan Africa. Hundreds of millions of people still subsist on an income that amounts to less than two dollars a day. The global income distribution is not just unfair, it is characterized by stark racial gaps that reflect the structural legacy of racism, the slave trade, and colonialism as well as present-day discrimination. The poorest people in the world are overwhelmingly Black, and almost all live in former European colonies. They are excluded from the opportunities afforded to the residents of rich countries by virtue of the nation of their birth.
Moreover, the field of economics has serious problems with gender and racial diversity. Women make up just 15 percent of all tenured faculty in economics. The field is also overwhelmingly white, with especially few Black, Hispanic, and Indigenous scholars. People from these groups face severe barriers at all stages of the economics profession, beginning as early as their introductory economics courses first year of college. It is imperative that economists find ways to make the field more inclusive. I seek to address these inequities and promote diversity and inclusion through my research, my teaching, and my service.