Nov 18, 2022Liked by Rod Graham

Interesting, I actually laughed out loud at "conservative studies"!

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"She articulated that racism is minimal in society today and black people can reduce the differences between them and whites by changing their values and habits."

I would have asked her the following:

If we define "brown" to mean [multi-ethnic + latino + asian + caucasian immigrant + caucasian ethnic] then "browns" substantially outperform non ethnic non immigrant caucasians by many socio-economic metrics. Nigerian and Ghanaian immigrants similarly outperform non ethnic non immigrant caucasians by many socio-economic metrics.

Can non ethnic non immigrant caucasian people reduce the differences between them and "browns", Nigerians and Ghanaians by changing their values and habits?

I would be curious to hear her response. [I am a data guy and love trying to get people to carefully analyze data in as many ways as possible.]

I would also ask her why Mexicans in Mexico academically outperform 1st generation Mexican Americans, who in turn academically outperform 2nd generation Mexican Americans, who in turn academically outperform 3rd generation Mexican Americans?

We see a similar drop in Asian academic performance with each subsequent generation.

I would also ask her why she thinks ADOS were a smaller percentage of US doctors in 2018 than in 1940. [Hint . . . immigration. Immigrants often outperform {non ethnic non immigrant caucasians + ADOS}.]

She is right that ADOS students do worse academically than latino, asian and caucasian students when real income is held constant. I would ask her to research this subject for a few days and try to suggest as many possible reasons for this as possible. Maybe with a team mate to help her brain storm.. [I can think of over a dozen. However, isn't it useful to try to help her think through these possible reasons mostly on her own? If she has difficulty, then give her hints. Again, she can disagree with all these reasons. This is more a critical thinking and data analysis question.]


Prof Graham, read the above with great interest. Why do you think the economics profession is far more conservative (or less leftist or less liberal if you prefer these phrasing) than the sociology profession.

Economists don't write a lot of academic papers and publish a lot of empirical econometric data on many subjects for fear of censor. [For example the railroading of Roland Fryer has scared economists away from publishing papers on education, anti geek/nerd sentiment and crime.] How in your view can this issue be addressed?

What unique insights do sociologists offer that the economics and applied econometrics research modalities do not?

I would prefer if sociologists did far more international cross country, cross region and time series analysis. There is a ton that we can learn from foreigners.

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A story for you to consider, and I'll let you draw your own take-away: I have a colleague, he is amongst the top 5 or 10 accounting/tax researchers in the world. A year ago I proposed a research idea to him, motivated by Dorothy Brown's book "The Whiteness of Wealth: How the Tax System Impoverishes Black Americans--and How We Can Fix It." The idea was to use data to test the assertions in her book (which argued that the tax code systematically disadvantages Black people). He surprised my by saying that he already conducted the analysis, and found that Black people actually faced an overall lower effective individual federal tax rate as compared to white people, and that this holds even after controlling for income level. The reason being a disproportionate percentage of Black wealth is held in real estate, and that this wealth is tax advantaged over other forms of wealth. He had already decided not to pursue publishing the study. He was worried that he'd be vilified if he proceeded, and he also thought that no premier journal would have any interest in publishing the study. I agreed and haven't given the research question a second thought until I read your article here.

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