Undiverse and uninclusive
in Reclaiming economics for future generations
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The book demonstrates that academic economics in the US and UK is undiverse and uninclusive. Women, people of colour and less socioeconomically privileged people are significantly underrepresented in the discipline and become more so further along the career ladder. The chapter charts the journeys such people have had in economics. Barriers to studying economics include not knowing what economics is, not having family or friends who are economists, thinking it is going to be too mathematical, feeling it is not for people like you and not being able to access university. Consequently, undergraduate economics is already highly unrepresentative of broader society. Discrimination based on a racialised identity and gender is widely reported in economics while sexual harassment is all too common. All of this fosters a sense of imposter syndrome for people from underrepresented backgrounds studying and working in economics. Diversifying economics and fostering an inclusive culture is necessary for individuals from underrepresented backgrounds to have equal opportunity to study and practise economics; to be treated with dignity and respect by colleagues; and to access the income, status and power that economists receive. It is also necessary for economics as a discipline to be able to legitimately claim that it represents society and the public interest. It must be more diverse and representative to credibly claim to understand the economic experience of different social groups. More broadly, a diverse and inclusive discipline of economics fosters greater social mobility and trust in experts, which in turn underpin democracy and social cohesion.


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