The Economics Department at Columbia University recognizes the lack of diversity within our area of study, and the role of racism, discrimination, and exclusion in perpetuating this situation. We are committed to building a more diverse, inclusive, and productive profession.
This page describes some of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives that are being undertaken by the department. These efforts fall within the broader DEI framework in operation at the university and school level.
If you have any questions or comments, please contact the diversity committee at email@example.com
Bridge to PhD
The Department of Economics is pleased to announce that it will continue to be part of Columbia University’s Bridge to the Ph.D. program in 2021.
The Program is designed to increase the participation of students from underrepresented groups in Ph.D. programs in STEM fields, including Economics. It is an intensive research, academic, and mentoring experience for post-baccalaureates seeking to strengthen their graduate school applications and to prepare for the transition into Ph.D. programs. In the 10 years the program has operated, its alumni have gone on to Ph.D. programs at institutions such as Columbia University, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Cornell University, Northwestern University, the University of California-Davis, the University of Chicago, and Weill Cornell Medical College.
Bridge participants are hired as full-time Columbia University research assistants (RAs) for up to two years and conduct research under the mentorship of faculty members, post-doctoral researchers, and graduate students. Potential research areas within the department include behavioral economics, development, education and health, and political economy. An overview of the department’s research can be found on the Program for Economic Research website. The faculty webpage is also searchable by research area.
The 2020-21 salary for Bridge RAs in economics was a minimum of $51,125 per year. Program participants are also provided with $2,000 per year to support professional and educational expenses (examples include travel to professional conferences and the purchase of books), and, as full-time employees, are eligible for University benefits.
Additionally, Bridge participants typically enroll in one to two courses per semester at Columbia that is related to their future field of study. For economics scholars this might include mathematics courses, undergraduate electives in economics, or Master’s or PhD level introductory courses. The Program also provides monthly one-on-one progress meetings with the Program’s Director (Dr. Kwame Osei-Sarfo), and organizes a number of professional development workshops, provides access to GRE test preparation, and partners with Columbia’s Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science to ensure success while at Columbia and to facilitate application to Ph.D. programs.
For more information, and to apply for the program please visit the website here.
Columbia HBCU Fellowship program.
Columbia University’s School of Professional Studies aims to be a bridge between talented African-American students and the Fortune 500 companies looking to employ them. The program offers scholarships to the MA program in economics, as well as many other programs.
For more information, and to apply for the program please visit the website here.
Resources For Current Students
- Mentoring program <description to be added>
- The Program for Economic Research at Columbia University has available grants that can be used by undergraduate students to attend conferences such as those run by the Sadie Collective or the American Society for Hispanic Economists. For more information, or to apply please contact <contact to be added>
- The American Economic Association runs a summer and scholarship program that enables students to develop and solidify technical skills in preparation for the rigors of graduate studies. More details can be found here. If you are interested in the program, and would like help to apply, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The economics department maintains a page of career and research opportunities which can be reached here. If you would like to discuss any of these opportunities further, please contact email@example.com.
- The American Economics Association (AEA) has a helpful video that describes the perhaps surprising range of careers that the study of economics can open up. It is available here.
- Outreach: The diversity committee is currently actively pursuing outreach to student organisations on campus. If you know of a group that would like to either talk to us or hear from us, please contact the committee chair at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The diversity committee has recently developed a document on the “Hidden Curriculum”, or features of life as a graduate student that might not be made explicit. One of the motivations in doing so is to recognize the importance of previously established networks, particularly for disadvantaged students, and, to mitigate the importance of these networks by making such information readily available. The document is available here <link to be added>
- AGES has recently appointed two student liaisons to the diversity committee. If you would like more information about the work of committee they can be contacted email@example.com (Roman Rivera) and firstname.lastname@example.org (Victoria Mooers).
Interested in getting involved in initiatives to promote Diversity, Equity and Inclusion within the economics profession? Below are a list of programs that may interest you
- The Bridge to the PhD is a post-baccalaureate program designed to increase the participation of students from underrepresented groups in Ph.D. programs. In order to function the program needs both faculty members and Ph.D students to act as mentors, peer advisors and PIs. Please contact Dan O’Flaherty for further information.
- Mentoring program <details to be added>
- The Leadership Alliance runs a summer research program for undergraduate students. They operate at Columbia, and need both faulty and Ph.D. students to act as mentors. <contact to be added>
- The Double Discovery Center works with low-income, first-generation college-bound youth from Harlem and Washington Heights to help ensure their success to, through, and beyond college. Volunteer opportunities can be found here.
- The Adopt a Paper mentoring program aims to expand and diversify access to high quality feedback by matching recent economics PhD recipients to senior scholars. Mentors provide advice on one working paper.
DEI Research and Activity at Columbia
Many faculty members in the Economics Department are currently involved in research and activity related to DEI efforts. Some examples are below.
- Sandra Black is a member of the AEA Committee on the Status of Women in the Economics Profession and of the AEA Committee on Equity, Diversity and Professional Conduct in the Economics Profession, and she currently is organizing the Mentoring Breakfast for Junior Economists at the AEA annual meetings. She was also a panelist at the Women in Macroeconomics Conference, a Distinguished Visitor for the Women in Economics Group at BU, and a speaker for the Women in Economics Group at Arizona State University.
- Dan O’Flaherty is a member of the Committee on Equity and Diversity in Arts and Sciences. Last year, he was a co-organizer of the conference “An American Dilemma for the 21st Century” at the Schomburg Center (digital exhibition), which brought together scholars across disciplines who study race in America. He also teaches an undergraduate course on the economics of race, and is the author of the textbook The Economics of Race in the United States.
- Columbia University Commitment to Diversity https://president.columbia.edu/educationaldiversity
- Resources for racial justice at Columbia https://www.universitylife.columbia.edu/resources-for-racial-justice
- Diversity and Inclusion at GSAS https://gsas.columbia.edu/our-intellectual-community/diversity
- AEA best practices https://www.aeaweb.org/resources/best-practices
- The Sadie Collective https://www.sadiecollective.org/
- The AEA CSMGEP mentoring program https://www.aeaweb.org/about-aea/committees/csmgep/mentoring
- Office of University Life https://www.universitylife.columbia.edu/
- Center for Justice https://centerforjustice.columbia.edu/