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Economic Policy, (In)equality, and Economic Justice – Fall 2020

The Color of Money: The History and Creation of the Racial Wealth Gap

Mehrsa Baradaran

November 18, 3:00 pm

Cancelled – to be rescheduled in the Spring

Mehrsa Baradaran is the Associate Dean for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and Professor at University of California, Irvine School of Law. Baradaran is a leading scholar on financial services law and has developed a number of policies to address U.S. economic inequality and the racial wealth gap. Her most recent book, The Color of Money: Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap, explores the history behind the racial wealth gap and the reasons why it has persisted for more than 150 years. Baradaran focuses on the role of Black banks as a means by which to understand how Black communities build wealth in a segregated economy.

William A Darity Jr.

The ARC of Justice

October 14, 3:00 pm

William A. Darity Jr. presented The ARC of Justice on reparations for black American descendants of U. S. slavery. William A. (“Sandy”) Darity Jr. is the Samuel DuBois Cook Professor of Public Policy, African and African American Studies, and Economics and the director of the Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity at Duke University. He has served as chair of the Department of African and African American Studies and was the founding director of the Research Network on Racial and Ethnic Inequality at Duke. His most recent book, coauthored with A. Kirsten Mullen, is From Here to Equality: Reparations for Black Americans in the Twenty-First Century (2020).

Heather Boushey

Unbound: How Inequality Constricts our Economy and What We Can Do about it.

September 30, 3:00 pm

Heather Boushey is the President & CEO and co-founder of the Washington Center for Equitable Growth, which was launched in 2013. She is one of the nation’s most influential voices on economic policy and a leading economist who focuses on the intersection between economic inequality, growth, and public policy. Her latest book, Unbound: How Economic Inequality Constricts Our Economy and What We Can Do About It (Harvard University Press), which was called “outstanding” and “piercing” by reviewers, was on the Financial Times list of best economics books of 2019. She is also the author of Finding Time: The Economics of Work-Life Conflict, and co-edited a volume of 22 essays about how to integrate inequality into economic thinking called After Piketty: The Agenda for Economics and Inequality.

Link to recording

Joseph Stiglitz

Markets, Governments, and the Response to Race, Recession, and the Pandemic

September 16, 3:00 pm

Joseph Stiglitz, University Professor at Columbia University, is the co-winner of the 2001 Nobel Memorial Prize, former chair of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, and former Chief Economist of the World Bank. Known for his pioneering work on asymmetric information, Stiglitz’s work focuses on income distribution, risk, corporate governance, public policy, macroeconomics and globalization. He is the author of numerous books, and several bestsellers. His recent book People, Power, and Profits Progressive Capitalism for an Age of Discontent, offers an authoritative account of the dangers of unfettered markets and monied politics.

Link to recording

Link to downloadable flyer

Previous Forums

Spring 2020 “Capitalism, Competition, and (In)equality”

The first Spring speaker,  Dani Rodrik, presented “Remaking Globalization” on February 12 from 5:00 – 6:30 p.m.  at the Alumni Center as part of the Challenging the Liberal World Order Speaker Series sponsored by the NU Center for International Affairs and World Cultures. Dani Rodrik is the Ford Foundation Professor of International Political Economy at Harvard Kennedy School and has published widely in the areas of economic development, international economics, and political economy. His current research focuses on employment and economic growth, in both developing and advanced economies.


The Work of the Future:
Shaping Technology and Institutions

by David Autor

scheduled for March 12 was canceled due to Covid-19.


The talk by Joseph Stiglitz has been rescheduled for September 16, 2020 at 3:00 pm EST

Fall 2019 “Capitalism, Competition, and (In)equality”

Saving Capitalism: Should We Even Try?

  • Wednesday, October 2
  • 3:30pm-5:00pm

    ISEC Auditorium Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Complex

Robert Reich is the Carmel P. Friesen Professor of Public Policy at the University of California Berkeley.

Robert B. Reich has served in three national administrations, most recently as secretary of labor under President Bill Clinton. He also served on President-Elect Obama’s transition advisory board. He has written twelve books, including The Work of Nations, which has been translated into 22 languages; the best-sellers The Future of Success and Locked in the CabinetSupercapitalismAftershock and Beyond Outrage.

Professor Reich is co-founding editor of The American Prospect magazine. His commentaries can be heard weekly on public radio’s Marketplace . In 2003, Reich was awarded the prestigious Vaclav Havel Vision Foundation Prize, by the former Czech president, for his pioneering work in economic and social thought. In 2008, Time Magazine named him one of the ten most successful cabinet secretaries of the century. He received his B.A. from Dartmouth College, his M.A. from Oxford University where he was a Rhodes Scholar, and his J.D. from Yale Law School.

Re-Imagining Capitalism

  • Thursday, October 24
  • 3:45 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.

    Cabral Center,
    John D. O’Bryant African American Institute

Link to Slides.

Rebecca Henderson is the John and Natty McArthur University Professor at Harvard University, where she has a joint appointment at the Harvard Business School in the General Management and Strategy units. Professor Henderson is also a research fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research. Her work explores how organizations respond to large-scale technological shifts, most recently in regard to energy and the environment. She teaches Reimagining Capitalism in the MBA Program.

From 1998 to 2009, Professor Henderson was the Eastman Kodak Professor of Management at the Sloan School of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she ran the strategy group and taught courses in strategy, technology strategy, and sustainability. She received an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering from MIT and a doctorate in business economics from Harvard.

Professor Henderson sits on the boards of Amgen and of IDEXX Laboratories, and she has worked with both members of the Fortune 100 and small, technology-orientated start-ups. She was retained by the U.S. Department of Justice in connection with the remedies phase of the Microsoft trial, and in 2001 she was named Teacher of the Year at the Sloan School. Her work has been published in a range of scholarly journals including Administrative Science QuarterlyThe Quarterly Journal of EconomicsStrategic Management JournalManagement Science, Research Policy, RAND Journal of Economics, and Organization Science.

Her most recent publication is Leading Sustainable Change: An Organizational Perspective, edited jointly with Ranjay Gulati and Michael Tushman, and published by the Oxford University Press.

Taming the Tech Giants

  • Tuesday, November 19

    3:45 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.

    Raytheon Amphitheater, Egan Research Center

Jason Furman is Professor of the Practice of Economic Policy at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS). He is also nonresident senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. This followed eight years as a top economic adviser to President Obama, including serving as the 28th Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers from August 2013 to January 2017, acting as both President Obama’s chief economist and a member of the cabinet. During this time Furman played a major role in most of the major economic policies of the Obama Administration.

Previously Furman held a variety of posts in public policy and research. In public policy, Furman worked at both the Council of Economic Advisers and National Economic Council during the Clinton administration and also at the World Bank. In research, Furman was a Director of the Hamilton Project and Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution and also has served in visiting positions at various universities, including NYU’s Wagner Graduate School of Public Policy.

Professor Furman has conducted research in a wide range of areas, including fiscal policy, tax policy, health economics, Social Security, technology policy, and domestic and international macroeconomics. In addition to articles in scholarly journals and periodicals, Furman is the editor of two books on economic policy. Furman holds a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University.


Fall 2017

Inequality in America: How Do We Achieve an Economy That Works for All

Jeffrey Frankel, James W. Harpel Professor of Capital Formation and Growth, Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government

September 28

220 Shillman Hall

Health Policy in America: What the Future Holds

David M. Cutler,
Harvard College,  Otto Eckstein Professor of Applied Economics

October 25

Conference Center
140 The Fenway

The Economic Outlook for the United States

Eric S. Rosengren
Boston Fed President and Chief Executive Officer

November 15

Cabral Center

Speech, video, charts at

The series is organized and hosted by Profs. John Kwoka and William Dickens of the Department of Economics.