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Economics of Discrimination

Tanita Lewis
Summer Academy 2022 for Pluralist Economics, 2022
Level: beginner
Perspective: Other
Topic: Inequality & Class
Format: Syllabus

This workshop was originally taught at the Summer Academy for Pluralist Economics 2022
Instructor:  Tanita Lewis (SOAS University of London, UK)

Workshop description

In order to address discrimination, we must understand and address its fundamental basis of systemic oppression. Stratification economics goes beyond myopic mainstream conceptualisations of discrimination and recognises the historical, institutional, and structural factors that create and maintain socioeconomic disparities and hierarchies. To critically approach the economics of discrimination, this workshop will focus on stratification economics, a systematic and empirically grounded approach to addressing intergroup inequality (Darity, 2005). Focusing on racial discrimination, we will discuss the core elements of stratification economics, critically evaluate its relevance, and apply these understandings to construct case studies and solutions for change. In our discussions, we will consider an array of topics, including intersecting oppressions, reparative justice, and the role of knowledge production in overcoming injustice and creating a better world.


Learning objectives

  • Critically evaluate the economics of discrimination through an anti-oppressive, racial justice-centred lens
  • Understand the core elements, methodologies, and ideological underpinnings of stratification economics
  • Apply these understandings to case studies of oppression and discrimination against people of the global majority

Reading list 

Readings marked with an asterisk * are required for each day’s tasks.

Day 1

Day 2

  • *Darity Jr., W., Hamilton, D., Mason, P.L., Price, G.N., Dávila, A., Mora, M.T. and Stockley, S.K. 2017. Stratification Economics: A General Theory of Intergroup Inequality. The Hidden Rules of Race: Barriers to an Inclusive Economy. New York: Cambridge University Press. pp47-51.
  • *Lewis, T., Asare, N., and Fields, B. 2021. Stratification Economics. Exploring Economics. Section 1-3.
  • Darity Jr., W. 2005. Stratification economics: The role of intergroup inequality. Journal of Economics and Finance. 29(2), pp.144-153.

Day 3

Day 4

  • *Curry, Frank, Gary Dymski, Tanita J. Lewis, and Hanna K. Szymborska. 2022. “Seeing Covid-19 Through a Subprime Crisis Lens: How Structural and Institutional Racism Have Shaped 21st-Century Crises in the U.K. and the U.S.” The Review of Black Political Economy 49(1): pp.77–92.

Day 5

Download syllabus here


This project is brought to you by the Network for Pluralist Economics (Netzwerk Plurale Ökonomik e.V.).  It is committed to diversity and independence and is dependent on donations from people like you. Regular or one-off donations would be greatly appreciated.