In this special edition of GoodFellows, we’re joined by Roland Fryer, Professor of Economics at Harvard University. His work on education, inequality, and race has been widely cited in media outlets and in Congressional testimony. In this wide ranging conversation on the events of the past 10 days, the GoodFellows (moderated by Niall Ferguson - Bill Whalen is off this week) discuss Roland’s experiences with law enforcement as a teenager, which informed his future work researching the use of force by police departments and the disparities in how it is applied to African Americans. They also discuss one of the more radical proposals stemming from the George Floyd murder: defunding police departments. The implications of enacting that idea are wide-ranging, and the GoodFellows have a lot to say about it. The conversation then takes up other possible reforms: changing the organizational culture of police departments, engaging departments more with the communities they police, and improving communication —between the police, citizens, community activists, politicians, and yes, academics-- as our best hope to emerge from this tragedy with a better society.
Roland G. Fryer, Jr. is a Professor of Economics at Harvard University. Fryer's research combines economic theory, empirical evidence, and randomized experiments to help design more effective government policies. His work on education, inequality, and race has been widely cited in media outlets and Congressional testimony. Professor Fryer was awarded a MacArthur "Genius" Fellowship and the John Bates Clark Medal -- given by the American Economic Association to the best American Economist under age 40. Among other honors, he is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a recipient of the Calvó-Armengol Prize and the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. At age 30, he became the youngest African-American to receive tenure at Harvard.His current research focuses on education reform, social interactions, and police use of force.
Recorded June 5, 2020 NOON PT