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What Makes Systemic Discrimination ‘Systemic?’ Formal Models and Real-World Examples

February 23 @ 12:15 pm - 1:30 pm

From the University of Wisconsin-Madison Institute for Research on Poverty:

Speaker: David McMillon, Assistant Professor, Economics Department, Emory College

Systemic Discrimination has become one of the most salient, misunderstood, and definitionally amorphous concepts, not only in the social sciences but also in political and legal circles.  This presentation will draw on work in economics, public health, education, sociology, and law—as well as more mathematically technical fields—to clarify common themes that appear to make this type of discrimination “systemic.” Formal arguments will be examined in several popular contexts including but not limited to, police brutality, health disparities, and the racial wealth gap. These clarifications can improve scholarly discourse on the topic, resolve measurement issues, and lead to policy solutions that avoid unintended consequences of analyses that misunderstand the “system” in question.

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