American Economic Association Does Not Allow Racial References in Job Postings

The American Economic Association (AEA) lists job openings for economists in academia on its Web site. (Click here to see the listings.) According to a report in Inside Higher Ed, a recent opening insert submitted by the University of Vermont to the AEA included a customary statement at the end which read, the university “welcomes applications from women and underrepresented ethnic, racial, and cultural groups and from people with disabilities.” Note that the listing simply states it “welcomes applications” from particular groups. The listing does not say that any group is favored or will receive preferential consideration.

Yet the AEA struck the statement from the job notice on the grounds that it gave the impression that certain groups were favored. The AEA states that it will publish notices that say a university is an equal opportunity employer or favors diversity. But it will not allow the mention of any particular group.

After a number of minority economists criticized the AEA position, the organization said that it would study whether it should institute a change in policy.

JBHE research shows that blacks make up only 1.6 percent of the economists teaching at America’s 30 highest-ranked universities.