A Review of Thomas Sowell's Discrimination and Disparities
30 Pages Posted: 3 Mar 2020
Date Written: February 5, 2020
In Discrimination and Disparities, Thomas Sowell describes how economists think about the causes of disparities in socioeconomic outcomes. He cautions against government intervention to reduce disparities, noting that such interventions often have unintended consequences. In this review, I discuss the role of economic theory and empirical evidence in helping move society towards more equitable outcomes. I find far more reason to be hopeful about the role of government than Sowell does, but also argue for more experimentation and rigorous evaluation to be sure that our well-intentioned policies have their intended impacts.
Keywords: discrimination, race, gender, economics
JEL Classification: J7
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation