Roland Fryer wins the John Bates Clark medal

by on April 24, 2015 at 2:58 pm in Economics | Permalink

The announcement is here., with lots of detail.  Here is the first paragraph:

Roland Fryer is an influential applied microeconomist whose work spans labor economics, the economics of education, and social problems and social interactions.  His innovative and creative research contributions have deepened our understanding of the sources, magnitude, and persistence of U.S. racial inequality.  He has made substantial progress in evaluating the policies that work and do not work to improve the educational outcomes and economic opportunities of children from disadvantaged backgrounds.  His theoretical and empirical work on the “acting white” hypothesis of peer effects provides new insights into the difficulties of increasing the educational investments of minorities and the socially excluded.  Fryer is the leading economist working on the economics of race and education, and he has produced the most important work in recent years on combating the racial divide, one of America’s most profound and long-lasting social problems.

Here are previous MR posts about Fryer, lots of interest there, a very good and deserving choice.  His home page is here.

1 Steve Sailer April 24, 2015 at 4:23 pm

Being black gives Fryer a lot more career protection to be a little politically incorrect. It’s too we don’t have more people like Fryer.

2 Steve Sailer April 24, 2015 at 4:27 pm

“It’s too we don’t have more people like Fryer.”

urgh …

It’s too bad we don’t have more people like Fryer.

More on Fryer from when Dubner helped make him a celebrity a decade ago:

3 Alain April 24, 2015 at 11:37 pm

> It’s too bad we don’t have more people like Fryer.

I don’t know. I would rather have a world where the were no SJWs and we would be free to discuss all ideas.

But given the world we live in, maybe we need more people like Fryer.

4 Ted Craig April 24, 2015 at 4:58 pm

“lots of interest there, a very good and deserving choice”

While I’m sure this is true, when will they give out an award and Tyler says, “I can’t believe they gave it to this hack!”

Raj Chetty was “well-deserved.” Amy Finkelstein was an “excellent pick.” Daron Acemoglu was “a very good choice.”

I guess the closest is Susan Athey and Emmanuel Saez, about whom he said nothing.

5 J Toole April 24, 2015 at 7:56 pm

If he hits, they might hit back.

Speaking of the race issue, I just got back from McDonalds. A Black employee had started talking to me. When I told him I was a college student majoring in computer science, not really intending for the conversation to go further, he told me he “used to be” a college student invited himself to sit next to me and explain all his retarded “scientific” “theories” to me. He just went on and on, I tried to be nice and not ridicule him. When he talked about how he didn’t believe in the Missing Link it took a lot of willpower for me not to blurt out “I do, I’m looking at him!” Then, he told me he was going to go back to college at the same college as me next year. And I go to a university that calls itself “selective.” Oy Vey!

6 Doug April 24, 2015 at 8:06 pm

There’s no shortage of white people at top-tier universities with insane “scientific theories.” Many of them are even deans or department chairs.

7 Kabal April 24, 2015 at 8:41 pm

“Selective” University = Very Selective when it comes to Asians, Selective when it comes to Whites, A Bit Selective when it comes to Latinos, and Not at all Selective when it comes to Blacks

8 the missing link April 25, 2015 at 1:28 am

your last name is apt. not sure what his race had to do with anything. you may as well have told us his height.

9 TheAJ April 25, 2015 at 1:29 am

McDonald’s employee talks to you = “Race Issue?”

I know Steve sailer has already posted five times in this thread but what in the world made you think that idiotic musing was related to the “race issue?” Am I the only one who read that and just thought, “what?”

10 Steve Sailer April 24, 2015 at 5:32 pm

Here are links to 13 things I’ve written about Fryer’s research over the last 10 years:

11 Steve Sailer April 24, 2015 at 5:38 pm

As Steve Levitt’s Freakonomics writing partner Steve Dubner wrote in the NYT Magazine in 2005:

“To Fryer, the language of economics, a field proud of its coldblooded rationalism, is ideally suited for otherwise volatile conversations. ”I want to have an honest discussion about race in a time and a place where I don’t think we can,” he says. ”Blacks and whites are both to blame. As soon as you say something like, ‘Well, could the black-white test-score gap be genetics?’ everybody gets tensed up. But why shouldn’t that be on the table?

“Fryer said this several months ago, which was well before Lawrence H. Summers, the president of Harvard, wondered aloud if genetics might help explain why women are so underrepresented in the sciences. Summers — who is also an economist and a fan of Fryer’s work — is still being punished for his musings. There is a key difference, of course: Summers is not a woman; Fryer is black.”

12 Patrick R. Sullivan April 24, 2015 at 7:11 pm

Quick, somebody put the executives of the Nat’l Education Assn. on a suicide watch! Not to mention Al Sharpton.

13 IJ April 24, 2015 at 10:02 pm

Groan. I’ve seen this guy’s work and it’s on par with an average senior thesis (that’s undergraduate, for foreign readers).

14 Asher April 27, 2015 at 2:34 am

Not infrequently bringing solid workmanship to really interesting and important questions is more productive than bringing brilliance to questions that are marginal (or less). I don’t think there is anything wrong with giving a Field’s medal to a guy who persisted in doing yeoman’s work on some crucial issues that many colleagues avoided.

15 Turkey Vulture April 24, 2015 at 10:50 pm

Do awards like this help to spur additional useful research output by academics who might otherwise be tempted to take it easy after they’ve got a stable career going?

16 TheAJ April 25, 2015 at 1:23 am

I could have sworn it was TC or AT one of them who posted a chart showing Fields Medal winners and their subsequent declines in productivity.

17 Turkey Vulture April 25, 2015 at 9:08 am

That does sound familiar now that you mention it. Then the question becomes, was their output elevated by hopes of a medal and returned to normal, no-medal-exists production after, or does getting the medal make them fat, rich and lazy, leading to less output than a no-medal world?

18 Dale April 25, 2015 at 8:26 am

Fascinating that the immediate reactions all have to do with his race. Sort of proves the point that race remains a huge issue, doesn’t it. For me, I can’t help notice that yet another Harvard economist wins an award…. now that sounds like a group bias worth talking about…

19 Lion of the Judah-sphere April 25, 2015 at 12:32 pm

The reason “the immediate reactions all have to do with his race” is that he’s based his entire economic career on race questions…

20 rick April 25, 2015 at 2:07 pm

like all blacks do

21 Paul Mineiro April 25, 2015 at 3:34 pm

I like the blog, but the comments on this blog (not just this post) have a much higher frequency of being racist (or otherwise “troll-y”) then most blogs I read. Occasionally there is a brilliant comment, so, pretty much I have to wade through everything (random partial reinforcement … sigh …), but I always have low expectations.

I’m not sure why this is so.

22 A Real Black Person April 25, 2015 at 5:38 pm

Paul Mineiro, some of the people who are commenting on this post seem be very similar to the sorts of folks who commented and posted on the now-defunct blog, Half Sigma: well-established professional class CAaucausian men with inexplicable grievances against working class non-whites, which they could barely hide behind their scientifically based Human Biodiversity theory, HBD. With the exception of Asians who they readily accept as their equals, they think all social problems in are the result of low IQ and blacks, being the least intelligent among the human race, according to IQ tests, are responsible for their onw plight in America and deserve a lot less empathy. They claim that affirmative action has and is taking opportunities away from qualified whites and Asians and are being given to dumb blacks.
I do think IQ is unevenly distributed amongst the human population but a lot of what they are attributing to low IQ is in fact differernt personality traits, but they’re the one with graduate degrees from selective schools, not me, so what do I know?

23 Lion of the Judah-sphere April 25, 2015 at 8:02 pm

I’m also a real black person, I just wanted to inform you that the author of Half Sigma now blogs under a new name:

24 A Real Black Person April 25, 2015 at 6:05 pm

“the difficulties of increasing the educational investments of minorities and the socially excluded”
Even if all human had the same personalities and aptitudes due to social engineering or inbreeding, why is everyone here convinced that there are enough white collar jobs that pay a living wage for everyone in a human ecosystemy( civilization) that is committed to exponential growth , and in a world of finite resources?

For the HBD believers/ neo-eugenics believers No Asian society on this planet as every managed to turn everyone into members of the professional class, and it’s not from a lack of effort.

I know it’s trendy to think every thing can be solved by education and economic growth , but those things, by their very design perpetuate social stratification, they won’t reduce it. Education and economies for most of their existance have been competitive systems, they will always produce winners and losers, even amongst those on the high end of the IQ curve.

25 rick April 25, 2015 at 11:41 pm

That’s the exact point that HBDers are trying to get out there.

26 Ellem Esse April 27, 2015 at 7:40 am

Roland Fryer is an extremely brilliant man, doing work that needs to be done for the benefit and betterment of society. He could do anything with his life, but he chooses to do this. Stop with the racist nonsense.

27 Red April 27, 2015 at 1:40 pm

Yeah, it’s a real burden LOL.

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