Was Free Market Economics Conceived in the Sins of Slavery and Segregation? Art Carden

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Join Art Carden, a former Rhodes faculty member, for a discussion of the intellectual history of public choice, the importance of multidisciplinary discussion, and the distinctive features that make Rhodes special.

In 2017, Nancy MacLean’s Democracy in Chains was shortlisted for the National Book Award. In it, she claims that what she calls the “radical right’s secret plan for America” was the brainchild of 1986 Nobel Laureate James M. Buchanan and was forged by Buchanan as part of a backlash against the Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education. A deeper examination of the intellectual history and legacy of
Buchanan’s ideas tells a rather different story.


Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar David Weiman Lecture: Barriers to Reentry? A Labor Market Perspective on Mass Incarceration

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Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar David Weiman questions the conventional utilitarian calculus that has favored the use of prison as a criminal sanction, even for more marginal offenders convicted of less serious, victimless crimes. His analysis of the labor market experiences of released prisoners identifies an important unintended social cost of mass incarceration. A prison record, he shows, further isolates released prisoners in the new “urban” labor market, where they are confined to secondary jobs with lower pay, higher turnover, and dimmer prospects.  The evidence also suggests that employers reflect the spatial-racial concentration of mass incarceration by tarnishing all young less educated inner city minority men with the stigma of a prison record.  The significant “barriers to entry” facing released prisoners do not preclude their “going straight,” but significantly diminish the odds. In turn, their greater recidivism risk has sustained the high rates of incarceration despite the recent sharp downturn in crime rates.

Economics Political Economy
Phi Beta Kappa


The study of economics, through its emphasis on logical and quantitative analysis and communication skills, serves as excellent preparation for students interested in careers in business, law, medicine, government, non-profits, and international relations, as well as in academic roles. Refer to the American Economic Association webpage on undergraduate careers to learn more about jobs that are available to individuals graduating with a degree in Economics.

International Internships

The Morelle Legg International Internship for Women 
This scholarship is awarded every one to two years to a female junior major in the Department of Commerce and Business or the Department of Economics to allow her to obtain work experience in a foreign country during the summer following her junior year. The selection committee considers factors such as overall and major grade point average, completion of relevant business courses, and language skills in evaluating candidates. This is a merit-based scholarship funded by an anonymous donor.