Glenn Loury

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Glenn Loury
Glenn Loury.jpg
Born (1948-09-03) September 3, 1948 (age 72)
InstitutionBrown University
FieldSocial economics
Alma materNorthwestern University (B.A.)
MIT (Ph.D.)
Robert Solow[1]
InfluencesGary Becker
Thomas Sowell
ContributionsCoate-Loury model of affirmative action
Information at IDEAS / RePEc

Glenn Cartman Loury (born September 3, 1948) is an American economist, academic, and author. In 1982, at the age of 33, he became the first black tenured professor of economics in the history of Harvard University. He is the Merton P. Stoltz Professor of the Social Sciences and Professor of Economics at Brown University.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Loury was born in the South Side of Chicago, Illinois, growing up in a redlined neighborhood. Before going to college he fathered two children, and supported them with a job in a printing plant. When he wasn't working he took classes at Southeast Junior College where he won a scholarship to study at Northeastern University. [3] In 1972, he received his bachelor of arts in mathematics from Northwestern University. He then went on to receive his Ph.D. in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1976 awarded for his doctoral dissertation, titled "Essays in the Theory of the Distribution of Income", under the supervision of Robert M. Solow.[4] During the completion of his Ph.D. at MIT, he met his future wife, Linda.[5]


After being awarded his Ph.D., Loury became an assistant professor of economics at Northwestern University. In 1979 he moved to teach at the University of Michigan where we continued to be an assistant professor until being promoted to a Professor of Economics from 1980-1982. In 1982, at the age of 33, Loury became the first black tenured professor of economics in the history of Harvard University.[6] He moved to Harvard's Kennedy School of Government after two years,[6] feeling that the economics appointment was a mistake because he "wasn’t yet fully established as a scientist."[7]

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 disturbingly high rate of black-on-black crime, and the alarming increase in early unwed pregnancies among blacks."

In 1987, Loury's career continued its ascent when 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; she later dropped the charges.[8] Loury was later arrested for possession of cocaine.[9]

After a subsequent period of seclusion and self-reflection, Loury reemerged as a born-again Christian and described himself as a "black progressive."[10] 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.[3] In addition to economics, he has also written extensively on the themes of racial inequality and social policy.[2]

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 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."[11]

Loury was elected as a member of the Econometric Society in 1994, Vice President of the American Economics Society in 1997, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2000, and a member of the American Philosophical Society in 2011.[12][13][14] He was elected president of the Eastern Economics Association in 2013. Loury is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Media and broadcasting[edit]

Loury currently hosts The Glenn Show on Past guests have included John McWhorter, Peter Arcidiacono, Amy Wax, Richard Epstein, John Wood Jr., Carol M. Swain, and Coleman Hughes, generally covering subjects related to race, economics, and current events.[15]

Personal life[edit]

Loury's wife Linda Datcher Loury died in 2011.[5] He has since remarried.[16][better source needed]


  • Loury, Glenn (1995). One by One From the Inside Out: Essays and Reviews on Race and Responsibility in America (First ed.). New York: Free Press. ISBN 978-0-02-919441-6.
  • "Social Exclusion and Ethnic Groups: The Challenge to Economics" (PDF). Boston University. 1999.
  • Loury, Glenn (2002). The Anatomy of Racial Inequality. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-674-00625-6.
  • Loury, Glenn; Modood, Tariq; Teles, Steven (2005). Ethnicity, Social Mobility and Public Policy: Comparing the US and the UK. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-82309-8.
  • Loury, Glenn; Karlan, Pamela; Wacquant, Loic; Shelby, Tommie (2008). Race, Incarceration, and American Values. A Boston review book. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. ISBN 978-0-262-12311-2.


  1. ^ Loury, Glenn Cartman (1976). Essays in the Theory of the Distribution of Income (Ph.D.). Massachusetts Institute of Technology. hdl:1721.1/27456.
  2. ^ a b "Glenn Loury | Watson Institute".
  3. ^ a b Angelica Spertini (2006-05-15). "Glenn C. Loury Biography" (PDF). Retrieved 2008-10-31. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  4. ^ Loury, Glenn Cartman (1976). Essays in the theory of the distribution of income (Thesis). Massachusetts Institute of Technology. hdl:1721.1/27456.
  5. ^ a b Marquard, Bryan (October 2, 2011). "Linda Datcher Loury, 59, pioneer in social economics" – via The Boston Globe.
  6. ^ a b "Glenn Loury's About Face". The New York Times. 20 January 2002. Retrieved 2016-08-27.
  7. ^ "'Affirmative Action is Not About Equality. It's About Covering Ass.'". 2019-06-17.
  8. ^ "Harvard Teacher is Free of Charge". The New York Times. 20 August 1987. Retrieved 2009-07-27.
  9. ^ "Harvard Teacher Faces Drug Charges in Boston". The New York Times. 3 December 1987. Retrieved 2020-06-05.
  10. ^ Robert Boynton (1 May 1995). "Loury's Exodus: A profile of Glenn Loury". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2008-10-31.
  11. ^ "I Must Object".
  12. ^ "Fellows of the Econometric Society 1950 to 2019". The Econometric Society. Retrieved 2020-05-16.
  13. ^ "Glenn C. Loury". American Academy of Arts & Sciences. Retrieved 2020-05-16.
  14. ^ "APS Member History". Retrieved 2020-05-16.
  15. ^ "The Glenn Show". Retrieved 2020-09-26.
  16. ^ "Chronicling the Race." The Glenn Show from 2020. See last two minutes of video.

External links[edit]