William A. Darity

William A. Darity

Professor of Economics

External Address: 
238 Sanford Inst Bldg, Durham, NC 27708
Internal Office Address: 
Box 90245, Durham, NC 27708-0245
(919) 613-7336

William A. (“Sandy”) Darity Jr. is the Samuel DuBois Cook Professor of Public Policy, African and African American Studies, and Economics and the director of the Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity at Duke University. He has served as chair of the Department of African and African American Studies and was the founding director of the Research Network on Racial and Ethnic Inequality at Duke. Previously he served as director of the Institute of African American Research, director of the Moore Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship Program, director of the Undergraduate Honors Program in economics, and director of Graduate Studies at the University of North Carolina.

Darity’s research focuses on inequality by race, class and ethnicity, stratification economics, schooling and the racial achievement gap, North-South theories of trade and development, skin shade and labor market outcomes, the economics of reparations, the Atlantic slave trade and the Industrial Revolution, the history of economics, and the social psychological effects of exposure to unemployment.

He was a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (2011-2012) at Stanford, a fellow at the National Humanities Center (1989-90) and a visiting scholar at the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors (1984). He received the Samuel Z. Westerfield Award in 2012 from the National Economic Association, the organization's highest honor. He is a past president of the National Economic Association and the Southern Economic Association. He also has taught at Grinnell College, the University of Maryland at College Park, the University of Texas at Austin, Simmons College and Claremont-McKenna College.

He has served as Editor in Chief of the latest edition of the International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, (Macmillan Reference, 2008) and as an Associate Editor of the new edition of the Encyclopedia of Race and Racism (2013).

His most recent books are Economics, Economists, and Expectations: Microfoundations to Macroapplications (2004) (co-authored with Warren Young and Robert Leeson) and a volume co-edited with Ashwini Deshpande titled Boundaries of Clan and Color: Transnational Comparisons of Inter-Group Disparity (2003) both published by Routledge. He has published or edited 12 books and published more than 210 articles in professional journals.

Darity lives with his family in Durham, N.C. where he plays harmonica in a local blues band, occasionally coaches youth sports, and especially enjoys reading science fiction and speculative fiction. (On leave, 2015-2016)


  • Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology 1978
  • B.A., Brown University 1974

Darity, W. A. “A New (Incorrect) Harvard/Washington Consensus: Review of William Julius' Wilson's More Than Just Race.” Du Bois Review 8, no. 2 (October 2011): 467–76.

Darity, W., A. Deshpande, and T. Weisskopf. “Who Is Eligible? Should Affirmative Action be Group- or Class-Based?.” American Journal of Economics and Sociology 70, no. 1 (January 1, 2011): 238–68. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1536-7150.2010.00770.x. Full Text

Darity, W. A. “A Direct Route to Full Employment.” The Review of Black Political Economy 37, no. 3–4 (October 2010): 179–81. Open Access Copy

Darity, W. A. “Obama and the Problem of Racial Inequality in Post-Racial America.” Convergence Review: An Interdisciplinary Journal 1, no. 1 (July 2010): 102–7.

Price, Gregory N., and William A. Darity. “The economics of race and eugenic sterilization in North Carolina: 1958-1968..” Economics and Human Biology 8, no. 2 (July 2010): 261–72. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ehb.2010.01.002. Full Text

Darity, W. A., B. Lahiri, and D. V. Frank. “Reparations for African-Americans as a transfer problem: A cautionary tale.” Review of Development Economics 14, no. 2 (May 1, 2010): 248–61. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9361.2010.00550.x. Full Text

Green, Tiffany L., and William A. Darity. “Under the skin: using theories from biology and the social sciences to explore the mechanisms behind the black-white health gap..” American Journal of Public Health 100 Suppl 1 (April 2010): S36–40. https://doi.org/10.2105/ajph.2009.171140. Full Text

Darity, W., C. Royal, and K. Whitfield. “Race, genetics and health: An introduction.” Review of Black Political Economy 37, no. 1 (February 1, 2010): 1–6. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12114-009-9054-2. Full Text

Hamilton, Darrick, and William Darity. “Can ‘Baby Bonds’ Eliminate the Racial Wealth Gap in Putative Post-Racial America?.” The Review of Black Political Economy 37, no. 3–4 (January 2010): 207–16. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12114-010-9063-1. Full Text