Identity in Economics: A Review

43 Pages Posted: 17 Jul 2019 Last revised: 11 Sep 2019

Date Written: September 10, 2019


While identity in the economics discipline is sometimes (incorrectly) attributed to ‘identity economics’ as developed by George Akerlof and Rachel Kranton in their paper Economics and Identity (2000), other fields in economics, including the economics of discrimination, and the economics of institutions, have paid close attention to both group membership, as well as the ‘labels’ attached to individual economic agents. Indeed, as shall become apparent throughout the chapter, such scholarship, including Becker (1957), Arrow (1972b, 1973), and Landa (1981) have preceded the work of Akerlof and Kranton. This review paper seeks to outline these literatures, as well as briefly describe some of the other social science scholarship from which ‘identity’ in the economics discipline has been derived.

Keywords: identity, identity economics, economics of discrimination, economics of institutions

JEL Classification: D71, D80, D91, J7, Z13, Y2

Suggested Citation

Berg, Alastair, Identity in Economics: A Review (September 10, 2019). Available at SSRN: or

Alastair Berg (Contact Author)

RMIT University ( email )

124 La Trobe Street
Melbourne, 3000

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