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Fri, 09.03.1948

Glenn Loury, Economist born

Glenn Loury

*Glenn Loury was born on this date in 1948.  He is a Black economist, academic, and author.  

Glenn Cartman Loury was born in Chicago, Illinois.  A teenage father of two children, in 1972, he received his bachelor's degree in mathematics from Northwestern University. He received his Ph.D. in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1976 after completing a doctoral dissertation titled "Essays in the Theory of the Distribution of Income" under the supervision of Robert M. Solow.  

In 1982, at 33, Loury became the first Black tenured professor of economics in the history of Harvard University.  After two years, he moved to Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, feeling that the economics appointment was a mistake because he "wasn’t yet fully established as a scientist."  In 1984, Loury drew the attention of critics with "A New American Dilemma," published in The New Republic, where he addressed what he terms "fundamental failures in black society" such as "the lagging academic performance of black students, the high rate of black-on-black crime, and the increase in early unwed pregnancies among blacks."  

In 1987, he was selected to be the next Undersecretary of Education, a position which would have made him the second-highest-ranking black person in the Reagan administration. However, Loury withdrew from consideration on June 1, three days before being charged with assault after a "lover's quarrel" with a 23-year-old woman. Loury was later arrested for possession of cocaine.  After subsequent seclusion and self-reflection, Loury reemerged as a born-again Christian and described himself as a "black progressive."  Loury left Harvard in 1991 to go to Boston University, where he headed the Institute on Race and Social Division.

In 2005, Loury left Boston University for Brown University, where he was named a professor in the Economics Department and a research associate of the Population Studies and Training Center.  Loury's areas of study include applied microeconomic theory: welfare economics, game theory, industrial organization, natural resource economics, and the economics of income distribution.  In addition to economics, he has also written extensively on the themes of racial inequality and social policy.  Loury currently hosts The Glenn Show on Bloggingheads. TV.  

In June 2020, Loury published a rebuttal to a letter Brown University president Christina Paxson sent to students and alumni in response to the killing of George Floyd by a white policeman. Loury questioned the purpose of Paxson's letter, saying it either "affirmed platitudes to which we can all subscribe, or, more menacingly, it asserted controversial and arguable positions as though they were axiomatic certainties."  He is a supporter of the 1776 Project.  

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