Trevon D. Logan: The Sins of Economic History

Department of Economics Lecture Series on Inequality, Discrimination, and Opportunity. Wednesday, May 18, 2022, 5:30-6:30PM (ET), Filene Auditorium.

Lecture Recording

The Sins of Economic History


How and why does economic history miss the mark when discussing the history of racial economic inequality? And what do we miss when failing to account for the historical process of racialization, capitalism, and racial oppression?  The use of traditional economic theory to describe racism and anti-Blackness has left us with an incomplete account of the dynamics of economic racial oppression.  This lecture will discuss three sins of economic history, covering the economic history of enslavement, the economics and politics of Jim Crow segregation, and the economics of the Civil Rights Movement.  At each turn, traditional economic history sins in describing racial economic inequality.  This lecture will review the sins of economic history and highlight a generative path forward for social scientists seeking to explain the economics of our nation's continuing race problem.


Trevon D. Logan is the Hazel C. Youngberg Trustees Distinguished Professor of Economics and Associate Dean in the College of Arts and Sciences at The Ohio State University. He is a research associate in the Development of the American Economy Program and the director of the Race and Stratification in the Economy Working Group at the National Bureau of Economic Research. A former President of the National Economic Association and member of the American Economic Association's Committee on the Status of the Minority Groups in the Economics Profession, he is currently a member of the editorial boards of the Journal of Economic Literature and the Journal of Economic Perspectives, the Co-director of the American Economic Association's Mentoring Program, Vice President-Elect of the Economic History Association, and member of the National Academy of Sciences' Committee on Population.
His current research focuses on racial inequality and economic history. His international award-winning research has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, the Economist, NBC, CBS, Bloomberg, CNN, and other major media outlets. Named by Fortune Magazine as "One of the 19 Black Economists You Should Know and Celebrate" in 2020, his work has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the Brookings Institution, and the Washington Center for Equitable Growth, among others. Logan received his BS in economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1999, his MA degrees in demography and economics from the University of California, Berkeley in 2003, and his PhD in economics from University of California, Berkeley in 2004.