ATLANTA—The Economics Department was awarded a $5,000 seed grant from the American Economic Association to increase diversity and inclusion in the economics profession. Georgia State University is one of two universities to win the inaugural grant, presented virtually at the 2021 AEA Awards Ceremony in January.
This initiative, led by Daniel Kreisman and Jonathan Smith, aims to recruit a more diverse economics Ph.D. student body by constructing a pipeline of underrepresented minorities into the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies economics Ph.D. program.
“We hope that having a continuous pipeline will benefit potential students by providing a path to follow, a sense of community and access to additional resources and information,” Smith said.
Plans to encourage success for these students include reducing barriers to entry by waiving GRE requirements, creating an automatic admissions process for high performing students and offering additional financial aid.
“Ultimately, we also hope to encourage minority students to pursue economics Ph.D.s, regardless of whether they attend our program,” Smith said. “But for our department, the first step is convincing potential students that Georgia State economics is a great place to complete their studies, perhaps more so than other opportunities.”
This year’s recruitment efforts were aimed at Spelman College, but the plan is to expand to Morehouse College and through Georgia State itself.
Smith says the long-term goal is to enroll up to three strong students in the Andrew Young School economics PhD. program via the pipeline each year. These efforts will continue beyond the seed grant.
“Thankfully, Chair Shiferaw Gurmu and Dean Sally Wallace committed financial resources to the initiative in future years, demonstrating their commitment to diversity in the field.”
By Sumar Deen (M.S. ’21)