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McNair Scholar 2014Lawrence Karongo

Lawrence Karongo is a senior at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, majoring in applied economics and minoring in political science. His research interests include the analysis of social disparities, the assessment of impacts of policy implementation, the causes of income and racial inequality, the study of urban economic development, as well as the determinants of economic development in sub-Saharan Africa. Mr. Karongo plans to pursue a Masters in Public Policy, and eventually a Ph.D. in economics.

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My dream is to positively impact others, and spread awareness on social disparities in whatever means I call work!

Research project

The Production of Black Ph.Ds. in Economics at Harvard University, 1905-1955

Abstract: This paper analyzes the determinants of the production of black Ph.Ds. in economics at Harvard, between 1905 and 1955. Harvard University’s economics program arguably was the leading graduate economics program in the world in the first half of the 20th Century. It had the distinction of producing more African American economists than any other program during the period. Who were these black recipients of the economics doctorate at Harvard? What factors explain their success in obtaining one of the most coveted degrees in academia? Using historical records, the paper examines: who they were, what they did after receiving their doctorates, and the significance of their life’s accomplishments. A logistic model was established using data on doctoral awards from 1905 to 1955 to identify the determinants of the production of black economists. Results show that the main factor influencing the production of black Ph.Ds. was the coveted Julius Rosenwald Fellowship, followed by dissertations on theory. Download poster. [PDF]

Faculty profile

Samuel L. Myers Jr. holds the Roy Wilkins Professorship in Human Relations and Social Justice at the Hubert Humphrey School of Public Affairs and is also a member of the faculty in the Ph.D. Program in Applied Economics. He received his Bachelor's Degree in Economics from Morgan State University and his Ph.D. in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr. Myers is a national authority on modeling of racial and ethnic economic inequality. He has pioneered the use of applied econometric practices to examine racial disparities in crime, credit markets, and public procurement and contracting. He has been a McNair faculty mentor for 43 undergraduates since 1994.