The New School News

New School for Social Research Team Receives Sloan Foundation Grant to Study History of the Eastern Economic Association

A team of economics faculty and graduate students from The New School for Social Research (NSSR) have embarked on study of the Eastern Economic Association (EEA) to document its role in combating sexism and providing space for pluralism in economics. As the Co-Principal Investigator, Steven Pressman, PhD, NSSR Economics faculty, will work with Sarah F. Small, PhD, from the University of Utah to collect oral histories and analyze archival data to document the founding and evolution of the Eastern Economic Association. They will be joined by two NSSR economics graduate students, Nishu Mehrish and Leah Masci, who will help co-author the papers.

Funded by a research grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the project will capture the singular history of the EEA as it celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2024. The EEA was founded in 1974 to promote greater diversity and inclusion within the economics profession, which has a historic lack of racial, gender, and socioeconomic diversity. From its beginnings, the EEA worked to counter this trend—its first president was a woman, Barbara Bergmann, and its journal, the Eastern Economic Journal, which appointed a female editor, Ingrid Rima, early in its development.

Their research will culminate in three papers investigating the history of the EEA with a focus on gender inclusion and diversity; an analysis of whether the EEA has been successful in promoting inclusion and diversity in the economics field; and lessons from the EEA that may help other organizations, and the profession as a whole, address these challenges.

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation is a not-for-profit, mission-driven grantmaking institution dedicated to improving the welfare of all through the advancement of scientific knowledge. Established in 1934 by Alfred Pritchard Sloan Jr., then-President and Chief Executive Officer of the General Motors Corporation, the Foundation makes grants in four broad areas: direct support of research in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and economics; initiatives to increase the quality, equity, diversity, and inclusiveness of scientific institutions and the science workforce; projects to develop or leverage technology to empower research; and efforts to enhance and deepen public engagement with science and scientists.

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