EconoMonitor

The Kapali Carsi

A take by economists on racism in the US

The trial of Ali İsmail Korkmaz, the university student who fell into a coma after getting beaten by plainclothes police officers during the Gezi protests and died 38 days later, continued last week. Across the Atlantic, a Missouri grand jury decided not to indict a white police officer over the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager in August. The two trials say a lot of the speed and efficiency of the Turkish legal system, but my focus is somewhat different. Would the jury have been as lenient if the boy had been white?
Here’s the intro. to my latest Hurriyet Daily News (HDN) column. Actually, the question in the last sentence is not the question I try to answer in the column. Instead, I summarize an influential economics paper that cleverly shows that there is racial discrimination in the US labor market- at least “was” in 2001-2002.  Anyway, you can read the whole thing at the HDN website. I have a few additional comments to make:
First of all, if you would like a more thorough discussion of the paper, one not confined to part of a 500-word column, I would recommend the blog post by NYU econ. grad. student Diego Daruich. I found it while looking for a copy of the paper I could hyperlink to. Not only it had the link, I also got the links for crime, suspension and unemployment there. And I just noticed that I ended up using a title similar to his- I had never looked at his title:)…
And if you would like more data on racism in the U.S., here is a “pictorial” as well as a piece written by NYT columnist Nicholas Kristof shortly after the shooting back in August. In fact, Kristof has written several columns/posts on racism since then, which he recently summarized in his blog. And here’s his latest piece on the subject. Thanks to him, I became aware of, unfortunately after I submitted the column, of several other econ. papers trying to document racism in the U.S.- the most interesting being racism by NBA referees (both white on black and black on white). But maybe this was for the better, as I would not have been able to squeeze them into the column…

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