?This important compendium of ideas, data, and estimates of the economic effects of discrimination against blacks and of possible reparations to them is well written and edited by highly qualified experts with vast experience in their respective research fields. The main work is set in neoclassical terms. However, the neoclassical approach is subjected to well-deserved criticism because of its unrealistic assumptions and limited coverage of the costs of discrimination. Several important findings may be noted: the gap between wages and incomes of blacks and whites is as wide in the 1980s as it was at the beginning of the century; whichever method is applied to estimate losses suffered by the blacks, the present value of these losses would run into trillions of dollars; and, though the dispensation of any such reparations would raise issues of why, how, to whom, and with what impact, there is now more willingness to talk about reparations than ever before. Although philosophical and moral issues are touched on, the economic costs and benefits of slavery occupy the primary position in the discussion. And although readers may question the methods used to compute reparations, the volume is highly recommended and should be indispensable to anyone working on the topic of discrimination and reparations.?-Choice
About the Author
RICHARD F. AMERICA is a policy analyst in Washington, D.C. He is coauthor of Moving Ahead: Black Managers in American Businessand author of Developing the Afro-American Economy.