Monday, June 20, 2005

James Heckman

Great interview with U Chicago economist and Nobel Prizewinner James Heckman. (Hat tip Arnold Kling) Ket grafs:
...[S]ome of my colleagues at Chicago were very hostile to this finding, and some remain so. Some want to believe that markets by themselves will solve problems like racial disparity. Markets do many useful things, but they did not solve the problem of race. Not in America. That's probably heresy to admit it as a Chicago economist, but I became convinced that a doctrinaire notion that markets would solve the problem of discrimination is false. Civil rights legislation and civil rights activity played huge roles in eliminating overt segregation in the United States. On the other hand, I also believe that affirmative action in the post-civil rights era has played very little role in elevating the status of blacks. It is important to notice that many blacks are not in the workforce, and the trend of workforce withdrawal even among prime-age black males has increased over the past 20 years.
I also think his comments on non-cognitive achievement enablers (motivation, self-control, ability to look forward) are right on.


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