Public finance and racism

Black Lives Matter protest march.


Mainstream public finance research has largely ignored racial issues. This paper calls on public finance economists to explore racial issues more extensively. The obvious reasons are to understand the effects of inequitable and inefficient policies, help develop remedies, and ensure that public finance is addressing the issues most salient to society. The less obvious reason is that public finance has tools and frameworks that can provide useful insights into the economics of racism. As economists search for issues that are both amenable to analysis and important for society, the pervasive effects of racism stand out in both regards.

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