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The Desegregation of an Elite Economics Department’s PhD Program: Black Americans at MIT, 2014

Author(s): William Darity, Jr. and Arden Kreeger
  • Type: Article
  • Researcher: Other Researchers
  • Timeline: 2010s
  • Affiliation: Alum


We examine the history of the entry of black American graduate students into the PhD program in economics at MIT in the 1970s. The deployment of an active and aggressive affirmative action program led to the presence of a critical mass of black doctoral students at MIT during the first half of the decade. We explore in detail the reasons why some MIT faculty members characterized the initiative as a “failed experiment” and what ultimately happened to affirmative action at MIT’s economics department.

Darity, W., and A. Kreeger. “The Desegregation of an Elite Economics Departments PhD Program: Black Americans at MIT.” History of Political Economy, Vol. 46, No. Supplement 1, Jan. 2014, pp. 317–336.