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. at Chapel Hill.

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 visiting scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation (2015-2016), 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, Politico 50 recognition in 2017, and an award from Global Policy Solutions in 2017. 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 2006 edition of the Encyclopedia of Race and Racism (2013).

His most recent book, coauthored with A. Kirsten Mullen, is From Here to Equality: Reparations for Black Americans in the 21st Century (2020). Previous books include For-Profit Universities: The Shifting Landscape of Marketized Education (2010) (co-edited Tressie McMillan Cottom), Economics, Economists, and Expectations: Microfoundations to Macroapplications (2004) (co-authored with Warren Young and Robert Leeson), and Boundaries of Clan and Color: Transnational Comparisons of Inter-Group Disparity (2003) (co-edited with Ashwini Deshpande).He has published or edited 13 books and published more than300 articles in professional outlets.

Darity lives with his family in Durham, N.C. where he plays blues harmonica, 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

Utley, T. J., and W. Darity. “India’s Color Complex: One Day’s Worth of Matrimonials.” Review of Black Political Economy 43, no. 2 (June 1, 2016): 129–38. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12114-016-9233-x. Full Text

Zaw, K., D. Hamilton, and W. Darity. “Race, Wealth and Incarceration: Results from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth.” Race and Social Problems 8, no. 1 (March 1, 2016): 103–15. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12552-016-9164-y. Full Text

Meschede, T., D. Hamilton, A. P. Muñoz, R. Jackson, and W. Darity. “Inequality in the “Cradle of Liberty”: Race/Ethnicity and Wealth in Greater Boston.” Race and Social Problems 8, no. 1 (March 1, 2016): 18–28. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12552-016-9166-9. Full Text

Diette, T. M., A. H. Goldsmith, D. Hamilton, and W. Darity. “Skin Shade Stratification and the Psychological Cost of Unemployment: Is there a Gradient for Black Females?Review of Black Political Economy 42, no. 1–2 (June 1, 2015): 155–77. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12114-014-9192-z. Full Text

Darity, W. A., D. Hamilton, and J. B. Stewart. “A Tour de Force in Understanding Intergroup Inequality: An Introduction to Stratification Economics.” Review of Black Political Economy 42, no. 1–2 (June 1, 2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12114-014-9201-2. Full Text

Munoz, Ana Patricia, Marlene Kim, Mariko Chang, Regine Jackson, Darrick Hamilton, and William A. Darity. “The Color of Wealth in Boston,” March 26, 2015.

Darity, W., and A. Kreeger. “The desegregation of an elite economics department’s phd program: Black Americans at MIT.” History of Political Economy 46 (January 1, 2014): 317–36. https://doi.org/10.1215/00182702-2716217. Full Text

Diette, T. M., A. H. Goldsmith, D. Hamilton, W. Darity, and K. Mcfarland. “Stalking: Does it Leave a Psychological Footprint?Social Science Quarterly 95, no. 2 (January 1, 2014): 563–80. https://doi.org/10.1111/ssqu.12058. Full Text

Aja, A., D. Bustillo, W. Darity, and D. Hamilton. “From a tangle of pathology to a race-fair America.” Dissent 61, no. 3 (January 1, 2014): 39–43. https://doi.org/10.1353/dss.2014.0065. Full Text

Mitchell-Walthour, G., and W. Darity. “Choosing Blackness in Brazil’s Racialized Democracy: The Endogeneity of Race in Salvador and São Paulo.” Latin American and Caribbean Ethnic Studies 9, no. 3 (January 1, 2014): 318–48. https://doi.org/10.1080/17442222.2014.959781. Full Text


Selected Grants

Wealth Inequality in America at the City and National Origin Levels awarded by Russell Sage Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2015 to 2016

Conference: Dissecting Inequality: Difference and Disparity in the 21st Century awarded by National Science Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2015 to 2016

Asset Scorecard awarded by Ford Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2013 to 2014

African American Literature and Social History awarded by National Endowment for the Humanities (Faculty Associate). 2012 to 2013

Faculty Diversity in Economics awarded by National Science Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2008 to 2012

Young Scholars - Black Scholars Project awarded by Mary Duke Biddle Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2008 to 2009

Race, Genetics, and Health awarded by Josiah Charles Trent Memorial Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2008 to 2009