DiscoverPitchfork Economics with Nick HanauerHow Econ 101 upholds racist systems (with Joelle Gamble)
How Econ 101 upholds racist systems (with Joelle Gamble)

How Econ 101 upholds racist systems (with Joelle Gamble)

Update: 2020-07-141


The foundational metaphor of neoliberalism is that a rising tide lifts all boats. But, like many other assumptions in economic thought, that idea willfully ignores racism. Economist Joelle Gamble joins Jessyn and Nick to explain that when economists fail to scrutinize theories through the lens of race, they perpetuate racist outcomes. Plus, The Sadie Collective co-founder Fanta Traore describes how the economics field can take deliberate measures to address the exclusion of Black economists.

Joelle Gamble is a principal with the reimagining capitalism team at Omidyar Network, where she focuses on topics related to building the power of working people and shaping a new economic paradigm. Joelle writes on topics of race, labor, and technology, and sits on the board of directors of the Roosevelt Institute. 

Twitter: @joelle_gamble


Fanta Traore is a Senior Research Assistant at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors and the co-founder and COO of The Sadie Collective. 

Twitter: @TheFantaTraore


Further reading: 

How economic assumptions uphold racist systems:

An Open Letter to Economic Institutions In The Face of #BlackLivesMatter:

What the Big New Study About Race and Mobility Doesn’t Tell Us:

Neoliberalism and Race:


Twitter: @PitchforkEcon

Instagram: @pitchforkeconomics

Nick’s twitter: @NickHanauer

Comments (1)


I began listening in the hopes of hearing (at long last) an intelligent explanation of institutionalized racism in economics. Instead, I heard worthwhile criticisms of neo-liberalism followed by vague accusations of racism, including mindless phrases such as "racist outcomes" (fallacy of affirming the consequent). As always, the problems were posed in terms of poverty, and then race was invoked as a proxy for poverty, as if all black people are poor and all poor people are black. Then, rather than posing solutions to poverty, the guest (and obsequious host) asserted that the solutions must be explicitly directed at race (the proxy) rather than poverty (the problem). The guest even supported the idea of the Fed overtly targeting "black unemployment"! So she wants to fight institutionalized racism (which she failed to demonstrate) by institutionalizing racism! We've gone through the looking glass. I'm sure the host and guest are well intentioned, but this is just idiocy.

Jul 14th








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How Econ 101 upholds racist systems (with Joelle Gamble)

How Econ 101 upholds racist systems (with Joelle Gamble)

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