Glenn Loury

Glenn C. Loury is the Merton P. Stoltz Professor of Social Sciences at Brown University. He got his PhD in Economics from MIT in 1976. By 1983, he had two QJEs, one REStud, one AER, and one Econometrica. Yep. These are four of the so-called “Top 5” journals in economics (the other being JPE), and the vast majority of the profession never gets to publish there even once. He was the first African-American to get a tenured position at the Economics Department at Harvard University.

To say that I admire Professor Loury is an understatement. Not only is his academic career something to look up to, his thinking around issues of race stands out enormously among the usual commentators. For the last years he has been hosting the Glenn Show at Bloggingheads.tv. His conversations with John McWhorter are fantastic. He also has the habit of steelmanning “adversary” positions; this is a huge novelty, as we are used to the complete opposite: to debate against a strawman. He, instead, takes the strongest version of the rival argument and tries to debunk that.

If you want to know more about his thinking, the Glenn Show is a great place to start. He has also delivered multiple lectures that are available in his website. This one with McWhorter, for instance, is brilliant. There is a recent interview in The Chronicle Review. He also appeared in the Making Sense (then Waking Up) podcast by Sam Harris. And he is preparing his memoirs titled “Changing my Mind” which I am eager to read.

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