IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Richard T. Ely: The Confederate Flag of the AEA?


  • Clifford F. Thies
  • Ryan Daza


During the Progressive Era, a new breed of social reformers advocated policies such as the segregation of lesser people, including entire races of people, to labor colonies in order to advance social evolution. Prominent among these Progressives was Richard T. Ely, a founder of the American Economic Association, recently honored by that organization in its Economists’ Calendar. To put this honor into proper perspective, this article compiles 55 quotations of Richard T. Ely, spanning his entire professional career, on issues such as eugenics, race, and individual rights versus the rights of the state.

Suggested Citation

  • Clifford F. Thies & Ryan Daza, 2011. "Richard T. Ely: The Confederate Flag of the AEA?," Econ Journal Watch, Econ Journal Watch, vol. 8(2), pages 147-156, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:ejw:journl:v:8:y:2011:i:2:p:147-156

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Thomas C. Leonard, 2003. "“More Merciful and Not Less Effective”: Eugenics and American Economics in the Progressive Era," History of Political Economy, Duke University Press, vol. 35(4), pages 687-712, Winter.
    2. Thomas C. Leonard, 2005. "Mistaking Eugenics for Social Darwinism: Why Eugenics Is Missing from the History of American Economics," History of Political Economy, Duke University Press, vol. 37(5), pages 200-233, Supplemen.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Richard T. Ely; eugenics; race; immigration; nationalism; colonialism;

    JEL classification:

    • B15 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought through 1925 - - - Historical; Institutional; Evolutionary
    • B31 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought: Individuals - - - Individuals
    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ejw:journl:v:8:y:2011:i:2:p:147-156. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Jason Briggeman). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.