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Discrimination and Disparities
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Rating
A searching re-examination of the assumptions, and the evidence for and against, current approaches to issues of economic and other disparities Discrimination and Disparities challenges believers in such one-factor explanations of economic outcome differences as discrimination, exploitation or genetics. It is readable enough for people with no prior knowledge of economics. Yet the empirical evidence with which it backs up its analysis spans the globe and challenges beliefs across the ideological spectrum. The point of Discrimination and Disparities is not to recommend some particular policy "fix" at the end, but to clarify why so many policy fixes have turned out to be counterproductive, and to expose some seemingly invincible fallacies behind many counterproductive policies. The final chapter deals with social visions and their human consequences.
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About the Author

Thomas Sowell is a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He is the author of dozens of books and the recipient of various awards, including the National Humanities Medal, Presented by the President of the United States in 2003.

Reviews

Gerald P. O'Driscoll, Jr., Senior Fellow, Cato Institute "In this provocative book, Thomas Sowell turns the table on those who automatically link disparate outcomes to discrimination. He begins by focusing instead on the myriad of factors that need to come together for success. Before we can explain why people fall behind in life, we must first understand what life demands for success. Sometimes individuals have all the prerequisites but one, and consequently fall short. Native intelligence by itself does not guarantee success. Hard work is important, but nature can be capricious. Who knew that being first born is a persistent factor for success in life? The book is chock full of such pertinent observations, none of which reflect discrimination by anyone. The book is a wonderful short introduction to the thought of one of our most important social thinkers."

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