A study that shows the true stupidity of discrimination (Slate)

Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama notwithstanding, the world still seems to be ruled by white men. Is this the result of racial and sexual discrimination in the workplace? Or are other factors more important—for instance, that too few black kids attend good schools, or that women usually interrupt their careers to have children? The answer is far from academic, because if we want to change a situation, it’s a good idea to work out what might be behind it.

Economists have been leading this investigation for longer than one might think. Contrary to popular belief, “the dismal science” did not acquire its name because of Thomas Malthus’ gloomy predictions. The title was bestowed upon us in 1849 by Thomas Carlyle, who attacked John Stuart Mill and his fellow political economists for their “dismal” support for emancipation, and their insistence that former slaves, women, even the Irish, were all equal.

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